eUpdate - January 28, 2021 
Beware of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
How to recognize scams and what to do about it 
Unfortunately, we are becoming more aware of vaccine scammers trying to take advantage of vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Common scams include fraudulent businesses or people offering to sell COVID-19 vaccines through the internet, emails, phone calls or even home visits.

Seniors or older adults are often targeted, with scammers preying on their fear of the virus. 

Scams can be avoided! Here are some tips for recognizing scams, and information on how to report them. 

Please help keep an eye out for anyone you know who is vulnerable, and share this information. 
  • COVID-19 vaccines are free. Be suspicious of anyone selling vaccines or charging for vaccination, period. 
  • You can't pay to get on a vaccine list or to get early access. These offers are scams.
  • To get vaccinated, work only with your familiar, trusted medical provider. Do not order or sign-up for a vaccine advertised on any websites or from any emails that aren't your familiar provider.
  • Do not give your Medicare number, social security number, credit card or bank account information to anyone offering to help you get a vaccination. 
  • Medicare will never call you asking for your Medicare or Social Security number. 
  • Beware of anyone unfamiliar offering you any other COVID-19 related treatments, medicines, contact tracing services, hospice care or other services or products.  Work only with your familiar, trusted medical provider. 
  • If you are an undocumented resident, beware of anyone calling, emailing or reaching out to say they can get you a vaccine for payment. Legitimate vaccines are free for people of any immigration or health insurance status. 
  • Be wary of organizations calling or emailing you asking for donations for victims of COVID-19, even if they have legitimate sounding names. Check all organizations on Charity Navigator, which has an easy online tool that reviews charities.
  • If you are confused by any offers related to COVID-19, do not take any action! Hang up the phone. Shut the door. Don't answer the email. Reach out to a friend or family member if you feel you need help understanding the communication.
  • Report scams to the California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080.
  • Suspicious offers or solicitations should also be reported to the Contra Costa District Attorney's Consumer Fraud hotline, by calling (925) 957-8608, or emailing
Click here for excellent information on vaccine fraud from the California Senior Medicare Patrol, a grant-funded national organization staffed by many volunteers that is taking the lead on fighting COVID-19 scams and the elderly. 

Click here for COVID-19 fraud information from the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Consumer Protection Unit. 

It's unconscionable that people are trying to take advantage of others, especially vulnerable seniors, during this pandemic. We need to stop them, and help protect each other!

John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone