Reports of scammers calling people for their COVID-19 vaccine prompt officials to remind the public to be vigilant

Fraudulent vaccine calls

This month, B.C. will start booking seniors over the age of 80 and Indigenous people over age 65 for their COVID-19 vaccines as part of Phase 2 of its immunization plan and officials are reminding the public to be on high alert for scammers.

At a press conference on Monday, B.C. vaccine lead Dr. Penny Ballem said the province has already received reports of phishing phone call scams for vaccine bookings.

"Scams are getting more and more sophisticated," says Sgt. Kris Clark, media relations officer for the RCMP federal serious and organized crime division.

Sgt. Clark says scammers aren't simply asking for your social insurance numbers, now they'll try to phish for general information which could enable them to guess some of your personal passwords.

"One should be aware that they are likely never going to have to provide that information to a legitimate government agency," he said.

If someone does call and ask for any personal information, don’t be afraid to verify who the caller is and where they are calling from.

"Tell them that you're going to confirm with somebody else and call them back. Go to the legitimate website to find that contact number. Don't call back the number they have given you," warns Sgt. Clark.

The government says it will not ask for SIN number, your drivers licence, credit card or banking information and if someone is asking you those questions, you’re on the wrong phone call. According to Dr. Ballem, here’s what the government will ask for:

  • First and last name
  • date of birth
  • postal code
  • personal health number
  • contact information (either your own or your support person)

The RCMP recommends people be vigilant for red flag questions about making payments, or answering any personal questions.

"Have a conversation with the seniors in your life, so your elderly parents or something like that. Have a discussion with them about this type of fraud," adds Sgt. Clark.

March is the Province of British Columbia's Fraud Prevention Month. If you have received a fraudulent phone call, report it here. If you have been a victim to fraud, contact your local RCMP detachment.

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