Pay Attention to Legitimate and Illegitimate COVID Campaigns
Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 -- 1:00 PM
(WBAY) Wisconsin saw “shots in the arm” to fight COVID-19 increase for the 7th time in 8 weeks.
Now the state can say 2 out of 3 adults have rolled up their sleeves for protection against COVID-19. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports 66.7% of Wisconsin’s adult population received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 63% of the adults completed their vaccine series.
Those receiving their first dose now until next Sunday, September 19 is eligible for a $100 reward card from the state. It’s an effort to get more people vaccinated. However, it gives scammers another opportunity to take advantage of people too.
“It is never shocking. we know that scammers watch the news,” said Susan Bach, Northeast Wisconsin Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau.
“They see what’s happening on the news and if there’s any kind of confusion, they try and capitalize on that and figure out how they can trick people into revealing personal information or payment information so that they can make money.”
Bach said scammers have been changing their tactics and scams throughout the entire pandemic. “In the middle of the pandemic, it was scams related to how to get the vaccine.
But now, probably for the past month, we’ve been receiving scams about stimulus packages or incentives to receive the vaccine so these covid scams have really evolved for the last 18 months,” said Bach.
She said the scammers are usually pretending to be a government agency like the IRS or Biden Administration. “Well, they (the scammers) say that you’re eligible to receive, like a $1,400 stimulus check or something if you receive the vaccine.
So, they want you to reach out and call them and the scam kind of goes on from there,” said Bach. “They will ask for personal information, maybe a bank account number to directly deposit that information so those are all scams and people need to be very careful because there’s a lot of them out there.”
Some people said they received a message from a number claiming they are with Governor Tony Evers’ office, and they have an appointment for them to get their vaccine and $100 reward card.
“We haven’t seen any specific scam tracker reports mentioning Governor Evers or the $100 gift card,” said Bach. There’s a good reason why Bach hasn’t heard about it. According to Wisconsin’s Division of Consumer Protection, it’s likely a legitimate text message.
The DHS is working with a partner organization, Organizing Empowerment Fund, that is “executing their Get Well Wisconsin program. Get Well Wisconsin includes a texting element to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and related programs, such as the $100 COVID-19 Vaccine Reward Program.”
If you receive a text message like the one below, with reference to the ‘Get Well Wisconsin Program’ it is not a scam. It’s an effort to help people get access to good information about the vaccine.
Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.