Levy, Marion County warn about COVID vaccine and testing scams
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - As they often do with any high-demand service or product -- scams are ramping up, disguised as opportunities to receive COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
“We are looking at a current scam right now running through Levy County where they are offering to come and do [COVID-19] home-testing. They claim that they have affiliation with Medicare and Medicaid,” said Levy County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Scott Tummond.
According to the Tummond, there is no legitimate home testing company in Levy County.
“We are working very closely with the County Emergency Management and the county board of county commissioners. That’s how we are getting information out and how we are reaching out to residents,” said Levy County Department of Health spokesperson Mark Johnson.
That’s as far as legitimate communication from the health department about COVID vaccine and testing goes. Any other suspicious calls are likely to be a scam.
“If you’re not initiating the phone call with our health department to schedule your own appointment, they are not going to be calling you. Those [vaccines] came in limited supplies to Levy County. We expect new supplies to come in soon,” said Tummond.
Any vaccine administered by the health department is done by appointment only. As of Wednesday, Levy County has filled all appointment slots for the current round of vaccines and has suspended appointments until the next vaccine shipment is received.
“Hopefully we can get as many people in our county vaccinated as possible in the near future but we are looking at a worldwide pandemic in the United States-- the vaccinations are being made as quickly as they can possibly be made ... so only limited supplies are going out to specific areas of the states,” said Tummond.
Marion County has also posted warnings about COVID vaccine registration scams asking for credit card information. In a post, a spokesperson says registering for the vaccine is and will always be free in Marion County.
If you think you have been contacted by a scammer, try and track down the number and let your local law enforcement know. Always remember, to never give your personal information to a suspicious caller.
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