Reports of COVID-19 vaccine scam prompts warning from West Vancouver police
B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccine distribution began on Dec. 15, 2020. (Province of BC/Flickr)
VANCOUVER -- A new scam circulating in a Metro Vancouver community related to the COVID-19 vaccine has led to a warning from local police.
In a news release Thursday, West Vancouver police said the department has received reports that fraudsters are contacting people under the guise of setting up a "home visit" for a vaccine.
The person making the call claims the victim is next in line for the vaccine, then asks for personal information like a home address and credit card information, police say.
"Unfortunately, this pandemic has provided new opportunities for fraudsters to target vulnerable people," said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy in the release.
"If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately."
Currently, individuals aged 85 and older or Indigenous peoples aged 65 and older can call to book a vaccine.
Most people won't be contacted about an appointment, though eligible seniors who receive home supports may be contacted by a local health authority to get their dose at home. However, those health authorities won't ask for a social insurance number, driver's licence number or banking and credit card details.
West Vancouver police say anyone who is contacted in one of these scams is asked to call the local non-emergency line at 604-925-7300.
A previous version of this story said nobody would be contacted about an in-home vaccine. However, Vancouver Coastal Health says it'll contact eligible seniors that already receive home supports to receive doses at their homes.