Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are warning District residents about COVID-19 vaccination fraud after a man posted about COVID-19 vaccines for sale at his Northeast apartment building.
Fox 5 DC reported that an offer for non-existent COVID-19 vaccines was posted to a message board serving residents of the Camden Apartments in NoMA. A neighbor alerted police.
The false offer prompted MPD and DC Health to warn the public about potentially fraudulent activity in the District of Columbia related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Police say that scammers have taken an opportunity to defraud citizens in various ways during the public health emergency, and individuals should report suspicious activity to police.
“If you receive any messages or calls about the private sale of a vaccine, report this as fraudulent activity,” said an MPD Press release. “Members of the public should only get a vaccine through scheduled appointments at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and doctors’ offices.”
In effort to keep the community safe, MPD asks the public to avoid the following COVID-19 related scams:
- Individuals offering to sell treatment for COVID-19, such as cures, vaccines, and insurance.
- Online sales of high demand medical supplies such as surgical masks.
- Telephone calls or emails demanding funds for COVID-19 treatment or other medical services.
- Solicitation of donations for those affected by COVID-19.
- Phishing telephone calls, text messages, or emails from national and global health authorities asking to provide personal and/or financial information.
- Unofficial COVID-19 apps or downloads that can potentially compromise users’ devices and personal information with malware.
- Investments claiming to prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.
The Department takes matters such as this seriously and will hold such offenders accountable for their actions. An investigation of the Northeast case is underway.
If you have been a victim or have knowledge of a suspected Coronavirus fraud or scams in Washington, D.C., please contact the Metropolitan Police Department Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit at 202-727-4159 or [email protected].