‘Vaccines do not cost us anything and they are free,’ Peoria County Sheriff Department warns of scams

Digital Originals

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Some neighbors in the community are being targeted by scammers.

Deputies with the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office are warning the public to watch for unknown calls and to not be fooled into thinking they have to pay to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Aimee Shinall, the Victim Services Coordinator for the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office said scammers are typically out of the country and they are hard to catch.

“We have people who call stating they received a phone call from a major health facility here locally stating that they know they are not able to get the COVID vaccine yet for a few months,” She said. “{They go on to say,} ‘but if you would like to pay to have your name on the list, to have your vaccine in the next couple weeks they will go ahead and do that.'”

Shinall said the vaccine is free to the public and local health departments will not ask for any credit card information.

“We want to make sure and let the public know that these vaccines do not cost us anything and they are free,” Shinall said.

With the Senate having passed a COVID relief bill that would give Americans making less than $75,000 a year, $1,400 by the end of the month, Shinall said social security scams are likely to increase.

“No one [from the department] is going to be calling you from social security and ask you for financial information or personal information.”

Shinall said people of all ages are targets.

She said residents should be aware of calls from unknown numbers with a local area code, saying those calls could still be a scam.

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