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Police warn of vaccine scammers in SA

·2-min read

Scammers are targeting South Australians with fake promises of early access to a COVID-19 vaccine with the premier describing the con as "despicable".

Police Sergeant Jonathon Newman, from the Financial and Cybercrime Investigation Branch, said scammers were using the fear associated with the coronavirus pandemic to rip people off.

"The COVID vaccination is free, but scammers will contact people offering them early access to the vaccine or to take part in a clinical trial if they pay them a fee," Sgt Newman said.

"Scammers will send emails and text messages purporting to be from legitimate sources."

These messages may contain links or attachments that will take the user to a fake website that asks for personal information and payments.

People are urged to watch out for COVID-19 vaccine advertisements sent through social media or by email.

Some are also being contacted by phone with offers to be placed on a vaccine waiting list or to undergo medical testing or procedures before obtaining a vaccine.

Some scammers are also offering to ship doses of the vaccine directly to people who pay a deposit.

People are being urged to visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au for up-to-date information about authorised vaccine distribution channels.

"This latest information that people are trying to make a profit out of the COVID situation is absolutely despicable," Premier Steven Marshall said.

"I make it very clear the vaccine program that we are rolling out is safe, it's effective and most importantly it's free.

"If you are being asked to pay to get speedier service, then you are being scammed."

COVID-19 vaccines in SA are being administered through state government clinics and through some GPs.

The federal government is also responsible for providing doses to aged care residents.

More than 100,000 have been administered so far in the state.