Health care provider warns of COVID-19 vaccine phone scam

Published: Mar. 14, 2021 at 12:41 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Officials with a Wisconsin health care provider say consumers should be aware of a new COVID-19 vaccine phone scam.

Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin are alerting people after patients say they’re getting calls about scheduling a vaccine appointment, and the Caller ID says it’s from Froedtert Systems.

The caller claims to be a network representative asking for credit card information.

The health system says the calls are not from Froedtert and the Medical College, and they would not ask for credit card information over the phone relating to a vaccine appointment.

Wisconsin Consumer Protection officials say if you get a call like this, don’t give out any personal information.

Instead, you should hang up.

“You never have to pay for these types of things, you shouldn’t pay out of pocket for the vaccine, you shouldn’t pay out of to get on a waiting list, anything like that is a scam,” said Lara Sutherlin of the Wisconsin’s Division of Consumer Protection.

The Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection just released its top ten consumer complaints for 2020:

1. Telemarketing - 2,904

2. Landlord Tenant - 1,254

3. Telecommunications – 667

4. ID Theft - 529

5. Home Improvement – 490

6. Medical Services – 291

7. Entertainment / Recreation – 281

8. Tie - Travel / Tourism - 191

9. Tie - Auto Repair – 191

10. Auto Sales (new & used) - 159

Department officials say they received more than 11,000 complaints, nearly triple the amount from 2019.

“It’s really important when people file complaints for us - not only so we can resolve that particular issue for that consumer, but also to know what’s happening in the community and where trends are,” said Sutherlin.

She says when you file a complaint with the state, they log the details and someone will help you.

Sometimes the complaint needs to go to a mediation unit, an investigative unit, or the Wisconsin Department of Justice or local authorities, depending on the nature of the violation or complaint.

If you have an issue with a business, landlord contract dispute, identity theft, or think you’ve been scammed, the department is there to help.

In 2020, the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection returned more than $2.4 million to people.

The Consumer Protection Hotline can be reached at 800-422-7128, or by e-mail. CLICK HERE to send an e-mail.

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