If you’ve owned and used a smartphone for any amount of time, you’ve likely received spam and phishing calls. Now, scammers are attempting to take advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic. If someone calls you claiming to be from the CDC, hang up immediately.
As first reported by The Verge, multiple U.S. police and law enforcement agencies are taking to Twitter and other social media platforms to let citizens know that anyone calling you about a COVID-19 vaccine is attempting to scam you.
A perfect example, as seen below, is from the Daly City Police Department. According to the agency, the person on the other end of the line might ask you for your credit card and/or social security number to “reserve” a vaccine.
New scam: People are claiming to be from the CDC offering to let people “reserve a vaccine for the COVID-19” with a credit card and/or social security number. There is no vaccine reserve program, and the CDC is not offering anything of the sort. Do not fall prey!
— Daly City Police (@DalyCityPD) March 17, 2020
You should also be on the lookout for scam text messages and emails. The Lucas County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio released a statement on Facebook warning citizens to avoid messages that claim to be from the CDC. At no point will the agency reach out to you directly.
At the time of writing, there isn’t even a Coronavirus vaccine available on the market yet. While several medications are being tested, it will likely take a year or longer before it’s available for patients. Wait until government agencies and your doctor makes an official announcement about availability before believing an unknown caller.
Until the self-quarantine and social distancing period is over, get some work done, disinfect your smartphone, watch some Netflix, and order yourself some food for delivery.
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And again, if an unknown phone number calls you, reject it unless you’re expecting someone specific to reach out. If the ignored call is important, the person will leave a message. Oh, and don’t forget, wash your hands.