The fraud investigation unit at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is warning consumers to watch out for scammers mimicking the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website and otherwise seeking to deceive vaccine-seekers.

The pent-up demand and limited vaccine rollout creates “an environment ripe for fraud,” Jennifer Stewart, the health plan’s senior director for fraud investigation and prevention, said in a Wednesday statement.

Stewart said people seeking vaccine appointments should not click on links emailed to them but rather navigate to official websites through mass.gov or their health provider’s website.

Scammers have posted a website similar to the state’s vaccine site directory, she said, changing one letter of the name so it looks legitimate in an attempt to collect health insurance and financial information.

Stewart said health care providers will not offer early vaccine access in exchange for payment or financial information.

“As the distribution starts ramping up, people are going to get solicited to pay to get ahead in the line. Consumers should know that’s not possible,” she said. “The federal government has bought the vaccine, insurers are paying for administration for their members, you can’t pay to cut the line and get early access in Massachusetts. If that’s what you’re being told, that’s a scam.”

(Copyright (c) 2020 State House News Service.

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