Phone scammers claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are saying they have a vaccine to cure the coronavirus (COVID-19), and are asking for credit card and Social Security numbers from unsuspecting victims to reserve it, according to a report by The Verge.
One California police department recently warned its residents on Twitter about the malicious scam.
“New scam: People are claiming to be from the CDC offering to let people ‘reserve a vaccine for the COVID-19’ with a credit card and/or social security number. There is no vaccine reserve program, and the CDC is not offering anything of the sort. Do not fall prey!” the Daly City Police Department tweeted.
Another law enforcement department, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, warned people: “Be aware of new scam. People are texting or emailing claiming to be with the CDC and offering to let people ‘reserve a vaccine for the COVID-19,’ credit card and/or social security number needed. There is no vaccine reserve program and the CDC is not offering anything of the sort. Anyone receiving such a call should not under any circumstances give the caller any personal information or money. Thank you.”
Scientists around the world are working on a vaccine for the virus, but it won’t be ready for at least a year, maybe longer. The National Institute of Health on Monday (March 16) said that it was beginning a clinical trial of a vaccine in Seattle.
“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”
The trial will involve two doses of the vaccine through injection in the upper arm about 28 days apart.