As with almost everything else, scammers have found a way to give people false hope when it comes to vaccinations.
In a press release issued Friday, hospital officials alerted the public about “a blatant scam” that involves telephone calls related to COVID-19. “The bogus message states the call is coming from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital,” according to the release. “The caller says this is your last notice to make your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. To do this, the caller is requesting payment information. We urge you not to engage with the caller. This is a scam.”
According to the press release, the only people receiving vaccinations on the Island at this point are hospital personnel, long-term-care residents, and Island first responders.
“The hospital is not scheduling patient appointments at this time,” the release states. “Please do not provide personal or financial information to the caller.”
Police have been alerted to the scam. Oak Bluffs Lt. Tim Williamson confirmed his department has been notified by the hospital. “We just received a call, and are looking into it,” he wrote in an email. “It sounds like the victims did not supply the caller with any info, and alerted the hospital, who in turn reported it to us.”
Hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici urged the public to be cautious. “This is an outrageous attempt to take advantage of people during the pandemic,” Schepici said in the release. “Please use caution, and please know that the hospital would never deliver a message like this to our Island community.”