Avoiding COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

I was on the Dr Oz show discussing Covid-Vaccine Scams. There’s no “low” for scammers. Even in death, they wish to exploit their victims.

People are working around the clock to get the COVID-19 vaccine out to the masses. Others are working around the clock, too: scammers.
Vaccine Scams
Here are some of the most common COVID-19 vaccine scams out there and how you can avoid them:

COVID-19 Vaccine Scams with Copays

One of the scams to look out for is the co-pay scam. The US government is working to make the vaccine free for American citizens, so you should never, ever pay for a co-pay unless there is some other type of administration fee. However, you should only pay this at the time you get the vaccine.

Scams Offering Alternative Cures

 There are also an increasing number of alternative “cures” out there, i.e. products that claim they kill viruses. These just don’t work. Instead, social distance, avoid gathering with other people, wash your hands, and wear a mask.

Scams Offering a Place on a Vaccine List

If you have recently gotten a call, email, or text asking to add your name to a list to get the vaccine sooner…for a fee…this is a scam. There is no “paid waiting list” for the vaccine, technically, but sometimes you can pre-register depending on where you live. Never, ever pay to get on a list for this vaccine.

Scams Asking for Personal Information

There are also scammers out there that are targeting people’s personal information. Basically, you might get a text, email or call from someone claiming they will get an appointment for you to get the vaccine… but really, this is just to get your personal info like your Social Security number so they can steal your identity. Don’t give your info out to anyone!

COVID-19 Vaccine Scams Claiming You Can “Jump the Line”

We all have to wait our turns to get the vaccine, so you shouldn’t jump at an offer to move ahead of the line. Your local health officials will post schedules online, and you might even be able to use an interactive checker to see when your turn might be.

You might be wondering when you might be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It will depend on a number of factors including your occupation, your age, your health status, and even where you live. Health care workers are slated to get the vaccine first, followed by those who live and work in long-term care facilities.

Other people who will get priority for the vaccine include essential workers, people with underlying health conditions, and adults who are older. It is estimated that the vaccine will not be available to the “general adult” population until late spring or the summer of 2021, or even later. So, keep practicing safe habits, and watch out for scams.

Written by Cyber Security Expert Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.

8 Scams That go Beyond Pandemics

As you might know, scammers often take advantage of people during times of trouble, such as in the current atmosphere of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the scams that you should be on the lookout for:

pandemicAccount Takeovers

This is a scam where the cybercriminals take credentials obtained from data breaches to take over accounts. They are also trying to reach out to kids to give up their account credentials, as they know most of them are out of school.


There are a lot of phishing scams out there that are taking advantage of peoples’ fears about COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, the most prolific are coming out about the World Health Organization, WHO. Preying on fears is a common tactic that people use, and when people click on links in emails that look like they come from WHO, they can get access to your devices, collect private information, and even steal address books.


This is a tactic that scammers use to get access to people’s back account information. The scammer informs people that there is something wrong with their bank account, and that they should call a number. When they do, it is a VoIP number, and the victim can unknowingly give up their personal information, including their banking information.


A smishing attack is similar to a vishing account, except it uses SMS instead of emails or phone calls to lure in their victims. Most of these smishing attacks are focused on the coronavirus and have a sense of urgency to them.

Social Media Attacks

Social media attacks are looking pretty legit these days, and that’s why it’s easy to fall for them. Essentially, they look like a social media post from a real retailer who is giving something away.

Fake e-Commerce Sites

There are also a ton of new fake e-commerce sites popping up, most of them claiming to sell things like masks, gloves, and other COVID-19 related products.

Rogue Mobile Apps

Fake mobile apps are also on the rise, and when downloaded, these apps can install things like spyware, malware, and ransomware on the person’s device.

Work at Home Scams

Finally, we have work at home scams, which are becoming very popular due to so many people being out of work. Often, these scams make people lose more money than they could make.

Don’t be a Victim

Here are some tips that you can use to stop yourself from becoming a victim of these scams:

  • Don’t respond to any texts or calls from numbers you don’t know or that seem suspicious
  • Don’t share any financial or personal information via text, email, or on the phone.
  • Be careful if you are asked to share information or make an immediate payment.
  • Scammers might try to spoof numbers to trick people into answering. Remember, there are no government agencies that will ask you for money or personal info.
  • Don’t click on links that you get in text messages. If you get one from a friend, make sure it is legitimate before clicking on it.
  • Always check that a charity is real before making any type of donation.

These cybercriminals are poised to profit from this pandemic, and they are doing all they can to take advantage of people. So, it’s important that you use caution.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.

This is Why We Hoard Toilet Paper

Remember that whole lack of toilet paper thing? If you are like most of us, you have noticed the shortage of toilet paper in stores near you. But, is there really a shortage or are we just natural hoarders?

toilet paperBefore we get into this, it’s important to recognize, that if you ran out of toilet paper, then it must be acknowledged that you might be lacking a certain proactive mindset that is necessary to maintain a basic personal security posture.

Having plenty of food, water, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, even a generator, back up heat source, and essentially anything that you might need should the grid go down for any period of time, is what it means to be a “prepper” and be prepared.

Is there Really a Toilet Paper Shortage?

The first thing we want to look at is if there really is a shortage of toilet paper in the US. On average, each person uses about 100 rolls of toilet paper a year, or one every 3-4 days. When you use that stat and multiply it by the number of people in the country, as a whole, we need about 3 billion rolls per year.

With more than 150 different companies manufacturing toilet paper in the US, we are not at risk of running out, so why are people stockpiling it?

The Psychology Behind Toilet Paper Hoarding

A number of experts have been weighing in about why people are suddenly hoarding toilet paper. Here are some of the suggestions:

  • Other people are hoarding, so I will too – A lot of people are falling into that lemming mentality where they think “I will do whatever everyone else does.”
  • I see photos of empty store shelves – If you have been on social media recently, you probably have seen those photos of empty toilet paper shelves. This creates a sense of urgency that you, too, must fill up in case the supply is not replenished.
  • I am worried, so I want to do something – There is so much about this pandemic that is out of our control, and this can make people feel even more fearful and stressed. To fix this, we want to do something, and stocking up on toilet paper is something that can make us feel more secure.
  • Toilet paper is an easy thing to hoard – There is also the fact that toilet paper is a thing that is easy to hoard. First of all, it isn’t a perishable, so you can keep it for many years. Another reason for this is that it is fairly inexpensive. Plus, you probably don’t have a ton of it anyway, unless you have room to store it. There is also the fact that you can use toilet paper for a tissue or even a paper towel, but we generally aren’t comfortable using paper towels or tissues as toilet paper.

The message about coronavirus that is presented to us is one of cleanliness and hygiene. You are told to not touch your face, always wash your hands, and don’t get too close to other people. Another thing that is all about cleanliness and hygiene is toilet paper. So, when you think about it that way, it makes sense that people would want to have it in their homes.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.