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'Older adults are often targeted': Experts warn about coronavirus vaccine scams

'The scammers are well aware of the fact that the older folks are going to be the ones first in line.'

Posted: Feb 4, 2021 5:36 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2021 5:43 PM

The coronavirus vaccine is one of the most sought after items in the United States. This may make people fall victim to scammers because the vaccine is in high demand.

WAAY 31 learned some of the scams you should look out for.

The COVID vaccine is free for everyone. So, it's a red flag if you're asked to open your wallet and pay for the vaccine. 

"When someone asks you for money to either get on a priority list, or that you are supposed to pay in advance for your vaccination, or anything like that, never ever give that information over the phone," said Alabama's AARP Communications Director Jamie Harding. "Nobody is going to solicit that information from you over the phone."

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said on Monday, about 2 million people in Alabama will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. A good portion of those eligible are 65 and older. Harding said it makes them a target for scammers.

“Older adults are often targeted, in this case with the COVID vaccine rolling out, the scammers are well aware of the fact that the older folks are going to be the ones first in line," she said.

Harding pointed out some vaccine locations will make you pay a fee for the shot being administered, but most insurances will cover it. You also wouldn't receive the bill over the phone. 

“Just avoid responding to any phone calls, text messages, anything where somebody’s asking you for money over the phone, or by email, or by text. Just ignore it, delete it, don’t click on any links, and you’ll stay safe that way," said Harding.

If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is. However, you can find reliable providers on the state's COVID-19 dashboard. 

You are encouraged to report any vaccine scams to law enforcement.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 770940

Reported Deaths: 11321
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby867941476
Davidson81042849
Knox45328573
Hamilton40069459
Rutherford38014377
Williamson25081202
Sumner21216315
Montgomery17269209
Out of TN1676593
Wilson16258211
Unassigned15676125
Sullivan14239273
Blount13959178
Bradley12775138
Washington12693232
Maury12158160
Sevier11930161
Putnam10566168
Madison10065228
Robertson8901118
Hamblen7972161
Anderson7922156
Greene7270145
Tipton6908101
Coffee6281114
Gibson6174140
Dickson6169103
Cumberland6092120
Carter5938152
McMinn589190
Roane584496
Bedford5771117
Loudon564865
Jefferson5605117
Lawrence555181
Warren530375
Monroe529290
Dyer5225101
Hawkins520794
Franklin470884
Fayette464771
Obion435994
Rhea412973
Lincoln411761
Cocke396892
Marshall389254
Cheatham386844
Campbell379159
Weakley377859
Giles371795
Henderson361473
Carroll347081
Hardeman338064
Macon335573
White335066
Hardin330462
Lauderdale309642
Henry299275
Marion290942
Wayne286730
Scott285842
Overton283957
Claiborne275667
McNairy265852
Haywood264560
Hickman263640
DeKalb261849
Smith254236
Grainger241546
Trousdale238522
Morgan228837
Fentress228544
Johnson215938
Chester200647
Bledsoe198610
Crockett197147
Unicoi179947
Polk174622
Cannon174129
Union169931
Lake167526
Grundy167330
Sequatchie154525
Decatur153237
Humphreys152021
Benton150039
Lewis146425
Meigs125621
Jackson125034
Stewart123324
Clay106530
Perry102827
Houston102431
Moore94016
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

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