Jan. 19, 2021 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)

The Pennsylvania State Police issued a disturbing warning recently about scammers using the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program as a means to steal someone’s money and/or personal information.

Scams already circulating include:

  •   Emails claiming to offer a vaccine waiting list, early access or doses shipped to your home. These emails may have poor grammar and spelling, as well as links that may contain malware that, once installed on your computer, steals your information.
  •   Texts, robocalls or messages on other platforms containing links to websites that promise the vaccine but solicit personally identifying information such as addresses, banking or credit card information. The sites may claim to be official sites belonging to manufacturers, medical providers or public health organizations and may be difficult to spot as fake.
  •   Social media posts with disinformation or misinformation about the vaccine’s origins or effectiveness or claims of political motivation. These posts may really be selling worthless or harmful products.

To help protect yourself, never provide money or personal information to anyone who requests it in exchange for special access to the vaccine; instead, rely on public health agencies for information about vaccine availability. Also, be sure your computer has the latest updates and an antivirus program. Delete any email from people you do not recognize or that has attachments you are not expecting.

For more information on the vaccine distribution program, visit www.health.pa.gov, or call 1-877-724-3258 (option 1).

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717-260-6136
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil

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