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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 29, 2021

U.S. Attorney Warns Public to Be Wary of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

PORTLAND, Maine: U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank is cautioning the public to be extremely skeptical of unsolicited offers to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

Federal, state and local agencies have received complaints about scammers capitalizing on demand for the vaccine to access individuals’ personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, and money, using various schemes.

Among the tactics the scammers use are advertisements that promise early access to COVID-19 vaccines in exchange for a deposit or fee as well as offers to be put on a vaccine waiting list, again in exchange for money.

“These scammers are ruthless and relentless, and everyone needs to have their guard up,” said U.S. Attorney Frank. “People here in Maine, particularly the elderly, are desperate to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and the con artists are exploiting that desperation to get access to their money and personal information.”

The FBI recommends checking your state’s health department website for accurate information on vaccine availability. The Maine CDC website has up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccine availability.

For more information on COVID-19 scams, visit fbi.gov/coronavirus. If you are the victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721, or online at justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm.

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Contact: Jim Cyr Public Information Officer Tel: (207) 771-3232
Updated January 29, 2021