DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser wants everyone to know that the COVID-19 vaccine is free and that any attempts to sell you a vaccine or sell an appointment to get the vaccine are part of a scam.
There are two coronavirus vaccines that have FDA approval, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for use in individuals 16 years and older and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for use in individuals 18 years and older.
“We are committed to ensuring the medical safety and security of all Coloradans,” said Weiser in a statement. “As such, we will take seriously the sale or advertising of fake COVID-19 vaccinations and we will bring legal action against those who engage in such illegal conduct.”
According to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, The Colorado Consumer Protection Act safeguards Colorado residents from unfair and deceptive trade practices by persons and businesses. Selling or advertising to sell a fake COVID-19 vaccination or cure, or an appointment to receive a vaccination, is punishable by a civil penalty of up to $20,000 per violation, or $50,000 per violation against an older person.
Weiser’s office released these guidelines to identify vaccine-related scams:
- Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails, text messages, advertisements, or telephone calls offering to sell COVID-19 vaccines or other cures or treatment.
- Do not pay for a COVID-19 vaccine. You will not have to pay for the vaccine itself, although you may be charged a small fee for administration of the vaccine, any offer to sell a vaccine is a scam.
- Beware of any attempt to sell you an appointment for the approved vaccine.
- Before responding to communications from a doctor, pharmacy, health department, or other health care practitioner, verify the source of that communication.
- Talk to your doctor to receive accurate information on when a vaccine will be available for you.
- Above all, do not rely on unsubstantiated claims from strangers about COVID-19 vaccine availability.
Additional Information from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office:
If you believe you have been victimized by a COVID-19 vaccine scam, witness a retailer sell or attempt to sell a non-FDA approved vaccine, or witness other such suspicious activity, please report it to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office at stopfraudcolorado.gov.