Inquiries received by Consumer Hotline on COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud (2): Do not easily accept offers like "I will make a reservation for your vaccine," "I will visit you to explain about vaccination," etc.
In order to provide consultation for consumers who have faced trouble with fraud or fraudulent sales capitalizing on COVID-19 vaccination, NCAC established the Consumer Hotline on COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud on February 15, 2021.
Municipalities across Japan started accepting reservations for COVID-19 vaccinations. The Consumer Hotline on COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud has received inquiries and complaints about vaccine fraud (e.g. "Someone claiming to be a municipal official visited and told me that the person would make a reservation for my vaccine," "Someone told me on the phone that the person would visit me to explain about vaccination"). In order to prevent consumers from suffering damage, NCAC would like to share some trouble cases and advice for consumers.
Cases suspicious of vaccine fraud
Someone claiming to be a city official visited me and said, "I will make a reservation for your vaccine." When I asked details, the person fudged the question and went away.
The other day, a man claiming to be a city official visited me and said, "Now many people are having a difficult time registering for the COVID-19 vaccine, so I will make a reservation for you." When I asked his name and the department he belongs, he fudged the question and went away. He didn't mention a fee.
(inquiry from a man in his 40s)
Although nobody registered for my mother's vaccine, someone called her and said, "We will visit you to explain about vaccination." The person confirmed her personal information.
Someone claiming to be a municipal official called my elderly mother and said, "We have accepted your reservation for the COVID-19 vaccine. Our director will visit you to explain about vaccination, so please tell me your preferable date. I would like to confirm your address." My mother made an appointment with the person for the next day afternoon. She hadn't registered for the COVID-19 vaccine, but she responded to the person because she thought I had registered for her vaccine.
(inquiry from a woman in her 60s about her mother in her 80s)
Advice for consumers
Even if someone claiming to be with your local government says, "I will make a reservation for your vaccine," do not accept such an offer on the spot. Confirm the matter with your local government.
Some fraudsters demand a reservation fee or ask your personal information under the guise of vaccine registration. Ignore them.
Each local government delivers COVID-19 vaccine vouchers and notices. After receiving them, you need to make your vaccine appointment via telephone or the Internet. Read reservation procedures written on the notice. Some municipal government websites describe peak hours of telephone traffic and local support for reservation. If necessary, confirm details with your local government.
Even if someone demands money from you or asks your personal information under the pretext of vaccine registration, ignore such a request.
The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge. Even if someone demands money for COVID-19 vaccination or for raising the vaccination priority level, ignore such a demand.
Neither national nor municipal administrative bodies visit individual residents to explain about vaccination or ask your personal information such as bank accounts via telephone or email for the vaccine registration. Never answer to such questions.