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COVID-19 vaccine appointment scams popping up in Ottawa, officials warn

The City of Ottawa says some residents have been targeted by scam callers offering fake COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The Canadian Press file

The City of Ottawa is cautioning residents not to trust unsolicited calls offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

The warning comes after reports that “unauthorized callers” have been asking residents for personal information and pretending to arrange COVID-19 vaccine appointments or tests.

Ottawa Public Health will never ask a resident for payment or for their social insurance number when making an appointment, the city says, and bookings can not be traded or sold from person to person.

Read more: Growing market for fake COVID-19 vaccine passports sparks alarm

In the case of vaccines, OPH will not call residents out of the blue to make a booking unless someone has already requested a call-back.

Some adult recipients of chronic home health care might get an automated call with a recorded message telling them they are eligible for vaccination, however, and some physicians or community partners could call to encourage a resident to make an appointment as well.

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Anyone providing personal information for the purposes of a booking should only do so through the following official sites and phone numbers:

In the case of a COVID-19 test, OPH case managers will call individuals who have tested positive for the virus and ask for their name, date of birth and demographic information provided at the time the test was taken to confirm they are speaking to the right person.

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