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Illinois attorney general warns of COVID-19 scams

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CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Tuesday told Illinois residents to be on alert for scams related to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“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 in a press release. “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.”

“Currently, there is a limited amount of vaccine in Illinois and in the U.S.,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Because of the limited amount of vaccine, we want people to be aware of potential scammers who may ask you to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine, who offer to give you early access to the vaccine, or offer to ship you vaccine for payment. 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.”  

The vaccine’s distribution is being overseen by Illinois public health officials, and it is currently available in limited quantities. Residents will be able to receive the vaccine only through a designated health clinic. No one can pay to put their names on a distribution list or purchase early access to the vaccine. Consumers should also be aware that Medicare or Medicaid will not call seniors or residents to proactively offer the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents should consult their health care providers or local health departments for guidance in determining when the vaccine will be available to them.

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