Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul warns state residents about COVID vaccine scams

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul warned people Tuesday not to buy any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment from the Internet or online pharmacy.

"People should be wary of anyone who offers the vaccine or promises priority access to the vaccine or a COVID-19 cure in exchange for money," Raoul said.

Attorney General Raoul said people do not have to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine. However, experts ask people to be patient.

"Until more vaccine is readily available, we ask people to be patient, understand there may be others in similar risk categories who may get vaccinated first, and continue to wear their mask, watch their distance, and avoid gatherings," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

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The attorney encourages people to take the following steps to protect their health and information:

  • Do not buy any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment on the internet or from an online pharmacy. You should not have to pay any amount of money out of pocket in order to receive the vaccine. Everyone eventually will be able to receive the vaccine, even if they do not have health insurance.
  • Ignore online, phone, and text offers for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Hang up on any calls, including robocalls, which direct you to take immediate action or provide personally-identifiable information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number.
  • Report solicitations from telemarketers, text messages and social media platforms, as well as door-to-door visits. You can file a consumer complaint with the Illinois Attorney General's office.
  • Delete emails and texts that promise or offer access to COVID-19 treatments, and do not click on any links contained in such emails as they may place malware on your devices.

"I am urging Illinois residents to be vigilant for scams related to the vaccine, which could compromise their health and personal information. People should report these scams to my office," Raoul said.

People can ask questions or report a scam through the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield) or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale).