Beware of scams as COVID-19 vaccines arrive in DC area

Scammers trying to make a buck may try to prey on people who are excited about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, but Virginia’s top prosecutor wants you to be cautious and skeptical.

“I want to urge everyone to be wary of any too-good-to-be-true COVID-19 vaccine offers,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a news release.

“Once distribution begins, there will be strict protocols for receiving it. I want to urge all Virginians to remain vigilant and make sure you do your research before giving your money to anyone purporting to be selling a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment,” he said.

Fraudulent claims might include the sale of medicine claiming to treat, cure or prevent the coronavirus.

To avoid becoming the victim of a COVID-19 vaccine-related scam, Virginia’s Consumer Protection section recommends:

  • Only get the COVID-19 vaccine or treatment after consulting a medical professional or a doctor.
  • Never go through an online pharmacy or use the internet to buy any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.
  • Make sure that your doctor or health care provider is approved to administer the vaccine or any treatment for COVID-19.
  • Ignore too-good-to-be true or any unsolicited offer for vaccines, miracle cures or treatments.
  • Be skeptical of any digital advertising touting COVID-19 vaccines or treatments on social media.
  • Do not respond to any unsolicited emails, text messages or calls offering any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.
  • Always talk with your doctor or health care provider before trying any product claiming to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19.
  • Only reference trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or your state health department for information related to the coronavirus.

Virginians can file complaints on the Attorney General’s website, by calling 800-552-9963 or emailing

You can reach Maryland’s Consumer Protection Division to file a complaint online.

The D.C. Office of the Attorney General is responding to COVID-19 related consumer issues on their website.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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