crime

Public warned to beware of COVID vaccination appointment scams

14 Comments

The Consumer Affairs Agency is cautioning the public about a rise in phone calls to elderly people from scammers saying they can make coronavirus vaccine appointments on their behalf. The suspicious callers have been requesting money and personal information in exchange for setting up a vaccination appointment.

The agency has received roughly 90 inquires nationwide about fraudulent vaccine consultations as of May 12, NHK reported. There have been cases where the caller requested 5,000 yen to book an appointment.

Police said in some cases a man pretending to be a city hall employee would show up at the targeted victim’s household asking the elderly resident if he or she would like to make an appointment to be vaccinated. When some intended victims got suspicious and asked for the man’s full name or the department where he works, the scammer would leave the premises.

Additionally, some scammers have claimed they work for the local government and asked for the victim’s address and the hours they are at home. Other suspicious callers stated that they had “leftover vaccine doses” and were looking for eligible people for the inoculation campaign.

Police and the Consumer Affairs Agency recommend citizens call the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC) for a free telephone consultation and additional information on COVID-19 vaccine-related scams. The number is 0120-797-188.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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Don’t open your door or answer the phone if you’re not expecting anyone. And when then check if it’s the person you’re expecting. Paranoid... I know. But generally works well.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Not surprising. These lowlifes use every opportunity they can get. The Covid panic created by the media is a golden opportunity for them.

Maybe there should be a yearly mental acuity test for seniors over a certain age, failing that their money affairs must be supervised? I would be OK with that.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

All vaccinations are free of charge.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Why don't the adult children of elderly citizens have them remove their names from the phone book? My in-laws names were never in the white pages... do these guys just call random landlines until they get an old person? Oh, wait. Of course they do... everybody with a landline is old.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Too many scammers in Japan.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Zichi, yes all vaccinations are free but the issue is the booking of appointments for the vaccination, which is difficult with overwhelmed phone lines and the booking website. Scammers are taking advantage of the difficulty the elderly people are having.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

As I do not need those vaccines, scammers will not get me

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Scammers must have a research center or something to be able to always develop new ideas

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Probably more likely to get an appointment with a scam company at this rate

4 ( +4 / -0 )

didou

Scammers must have a research center or something to be able to always develop new ideas

No, they go with the flow. Whatever people are excited about at the moment is useful for them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Oh, wait. Of course they do... everybody with a landline is old."

Very LOW

2 ( +4 / -2 )

These days you can't do anything without filling a some form or another, giving away your personal data and phone number. It is extremely easy for scammers and TELE sales to buy this data and use it, even major Banks and Insurance companies use it to call and pressure seniors into buying stocks and insurance.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Being in my 30s, I’ll be surprised if Im offered anything before winter here in Slo-Mo Japan

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Public warned to beware of COVID vaccination appointment scams"

Sounds like this is for japanese public only

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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