Warning: SC DHEC says to watch for COVID-19 vaccine scams

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – SC DHEC and other state agencies issued a warning Wednesday that scammers are using the vaccine rollout to steal personal information and money.

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), State Law Enforcement Division, Emergency Management Division, and Department of Consumer Affairs are now encouraging SC residents to be wary of scammers using the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout to steal people’s private information or their money.

This comes as South Carolina is set to receive an extra 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine weekly, starting the week of February 1st. SC DHEC said the state will get a total of nearly 72,000 doses every week.

With the increase in vaccines, SC DHEC officials say here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and others from scammers:

  • State agencies, vaccine providers, and vaccine makers will not contact people and ask for personal information over the phone.
  • The only time people should expect to share personal information with an approved vaccine provider is when they make an actual appointment with a real vaccine provider. 
  • No one should pay or provide personal information to join a vaccine waiting list or be promised early access to the vaccine.
  • A list of locations of approved providers currently accepting appointments for the vaccine is available on DHEC’s vax locator map.
  • If a member of the public is contacted by a potential scam, they should contact local authorities immediately, file a complaint with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, and report fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.

Eligible South Carolinians are encouraged to schedule appointments now.

South Carolina is currently in Phase 1a of its vaccine plan, and people currently prioritized to receive the vaccine should continue to schedule appointments with vaccine providers to receive their first and second shots. Those who are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can:

  • Use DHEC’s vax locator map to find the contact information for a vaccine provider near them, or
  • Call DHEC’s Care Line (1-855-472-3432) for help in finding contact information for vaccine providers.

To find out if you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

For the latest South Carolina COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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