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COVID Vaccines: San Mateo District Attorney Warns Of Scams

SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) – The District Attorney's office in San Mateo County issued a warning to residents Thursday about scammers promising COVID-19 vaccines.

"Unfortunately, scammers may try to exploit the uncertainty and anxiety associated with emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic to take people's money or steal their identities," District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a statement.

Wagstaffe listed several signs of possible vaccination scams, including someone offering a spot in an earlier vaccination group or a spot on a waiting list for a fee. Scammers may also try to sell shots, either on the street or online, or even door-to-door.

Residents should also watch out for texts, calls or emails about the vaccine that ask for personal information such as a Social Security, bank account or credit card number. Wagstaffe warned that those numbers or other personal information should not be shared.

The District Attorney said residents should also watch out for ads for fake vaccines or "miracle cures" for COVID-19 using vitamins or other dietary supplements.

Earlier this week, county health officer Dr. Scott Morrow urged patience among residents, saying the current supply of vaccine is "massively inadequate" amid high demand.

"At some point this year, probably before the fall, the vaccine will be available to everyone who wants it," Morrow said.

COVID-19 scams in San Mateo County can be reported the District Attorney's office by calling 650-363-4651 or on their website, or to local police.

Scams can also be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or, the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or the CMS/Medicare Hotline at 1-800-MEDICARE.

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