Chicago area woman says she got COVID vaccine appointment text despite not signing up

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A south suburban woman said she received a confirmation text message about a COVID vaccine shot, but said she has not yet signed up for one.

The text appears to be a part of a scheme that the federal government has been warning the public about as criminals are using the vaccine to try to tap into people's devices to steal their personal information.

Mary Therese says she has a few more weeks before she can sign up for her COVID shot.

"Because I tested positive for COVID on January 19 and my physicians expressed to me that I have to wait 90 days," she said.

But last week, she received a text message confirming her first dose appointment, followed by a link.

"I looked at it and it said your test is for this Friday at 1:30 p.m.," Therese said. "I didn't sign up for the COVID vaccine. I was very disturbed. There was a phone number. I checked the number, I Googled it. Usually if it's a reputable business. It will show up, well it didn't.

She got another text message hours before speaking with ABC7.

"Now I get this text, not only once but twice, confirming a test that I never requested," Therese said. "I felt bad because people are desperate to get these vaccines and now I'm getting text like this.

A spokesperson with the Cook County Department of Health looked into it and confirmed that it is not one of their text messages.

The county had its IT department look into it further and discovered the domain name associated with the link is registered to an organization in Kentucky.

"I have no one in Kentucky," Therese said.

She said she didn't click any of the links or respond to the text messages, but wants to warn others who may be inclined to do so.

"Luckily, you weren't able to scam me, but there are people you will be able to scam and you should feel ashamed of yourself for that," Therese said.

The Federal Trade Commission says that people who did sign up for a COVID vaccine might receive a legitimate text message, but with so much fraud occurring, it's important that you read the text message thoroughly.

If you never signed up, don't respond or click any links just delete it.
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