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Beware of scams when trying to get a COVID vaccine

DES MOINES — Scammers are targeting some Iowans who are trying to get COVID-19 vaccinations.

Larry Jones, a public health expert, says criminals are pretending to be from a local health department or another organization in order to get your personal information. “Health departments, etcetera, are not going to be asking people for their credit card numbers or personal information of that nature,” says Jones. “They’re going to be wanting to know your name, probably a telephone or an email to be able to get back with you, but they’re not going to be asking you for financial information.”

Jones says some of the scammers have built sophisticated websites with authentic-looking vaccine sign-up forms.  “They look very legitimate like they are a local health department and they’re not,” says Jones. “When you go onto their site, they start asking for their credit card and their Medicare or Medicaid numbers and things of that nature.”

If you get a call, email or letter from your local, county or state health department that looks suspicious, call that agency directly before responding.

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