SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – More people getting vaccinated means more of an opportunity to scam. Police say while they can’t prevent the criminals from scamming, they can educate the public.
“Scams need to be stopped,” resident Merle Lyons said. “They continue to prey on the weak, take advantage of the weak and those that are more challenged than people that are sharp and with it. Just ridiculous we can’t get them shut down.”
Officer Andrew Dutler, with the Sioux City Police Department, said 90% of scams can be avoided as long as you don’t give out your personal information and pay attention to signs.
“When it comes to spotting these scams, any time you have to personally pay out of pocket for the vaccine or you have to pay out of pocket to get on the waiting list for the vaccine, it’s probably a scam,” Dutler said.
He said any phone calls or emails you’re getting regarding the vaccine should come from your local district health department and the CDC.
If you are vaccinated and have your vaccine card, police say, do not post a picture of it on social media. It could end up part of another scam; the distribution of fake vaccine cards, a crime punishable by a fine, and/or five years in prison.
“When it comes to the vaccine card, that is something that is handed over to you when you go and get your vaccine, so wherever you’re getting it whether it be a mass vaccination clinic or you go to one of our local pharmacies, they will give you a card at that vaccine clinic,” said Dutler.
The Omaha FBI released a warning about one scam where people receive calls and texts, asking for them to participate in a post-vaccine survey in return for a prize. None of the vaccine brands are asking for that.