Department of Homeland Security warns of COVID vaccine scam

The federal government is warning Americans not to fall victim of COVID-19 vaccine fraud.
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 7:00 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A potentially life-threatening scheme is robbing many people out of their money and health.

The federal government is warning Americans not to fall victim of COVID-19 vaccine fraud.

As healthcare workers across the country vaccinate against the coronavirus just in time for another holiday surge, the Homeland Security investigation is combatting the illicit sale of the drug that many people want.

”Since the U.S. government started working on a vaccine for COVID-19,” said Timothy Tubbs. “Homeland Security investigations has now established Operation Stolen Promise 2.0 where now our focus is to counter the new and evolving public health threat posed by the illicit sale and distribution of unauthorized vaccines or treatments.”

According to HSI, deputy special agent Timothy Tubbs they’re already seeing cases of vaccine scams.

They expect a surge now that thousands of vials are shipping out.

”We do have some cases nationally. Those cases we don’t talk about specifically because they’re currently under investigation.”

Agent Tubbs warns that only medical professionals are receiving authorized COVID-19 tests kits.

“COVID-19 vaccines will not be offered to private individuals, so if you see any sort of solicitation through email, text, or telephone calls trying to sell COVID-19 vaccines those will be illegal products being offered.”

Aside from taking your money, this scheme is potentially life-threatening.

”Taking a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine is a significant health risk. You don’t know what sort of chemicals are actually in that COVID-19 vaccine, if it’s actually legit or not legit.”

The agency has already stopped the sale of counterfeit products and financial fraud related to COVID, in their Operation Stolen Promise 1.0.

”We had over 1,600 seizures primarily of counterfeit substandard medical equipment supplies, over 180 criminal arrests, and we seized more than 27 million dollars in illicit proceeds.”

The special agent encourages everyone to keep their eyes peeled for any criminals lurking in the shadows this season.

Cases of COVID-19 vaccine fraud can be reported to HSI via email at COVID19fraud@DGS.gov.

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