The Maine CDC has been made aware of scammers who are targeting elderly residents eager to get their COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

You knew it had to happen. Scammers will show up during any type of crisis including, unfortunately, a pandemic. According to Dr. Nirav Shah, of the Maine Center for Disease Control, the calls are targeting elderly residents and originating from an 844 area code. That could change once the crooks realize that officials are onto them, so be wary of any calls involving scheduling vaccine appointments.

The tip-off, according to Dr. Shah, is that these people will ask the 'patient' for their social security number in order to process their appointment. Or, they may be posing as contact tracers who, again, will ask for that social security number. Dr. Shah said, in a media briefing on Tuesday, that this is a dead giveaway. Maine CDC workers will never ask for your social security number, for any reason.

He says anyone receiving one of these calls should just hang up. If they're not sure whether or not it's genuine, they should ask for the caller's name and identification and then call the Maine CDC at 207-287-8026 to check on their legitimacy. Don't ask the caller for their phone number and then call them back, and don't call the number that appears on your caller ID.

Remember, it's never safe to give your personal and/or financial information to anyone over the phone, especially if you did not initiate the call. Please share this information with your elderly family and friends to prevent them from falling victim.

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