LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — At Berry Park in Littleton, you may find Katrina Bellis hard at work, scouring the internet.
She’s a ‘vaccine hunter,’ the administrator of a popular Facebook group that helps Coloradans find vaccine appointments. She started with just close friends and family, but as the need to help others became more evident, Bellis made it a full-time job since she’s a stay-at-home mother.
‘Vaccine hunters’ have been helping strangers book COVID-19 appointments for several months now, however some people looking for help worry that a vaccine finder may be looking to steal personal information, or not follow through with what they promise.
“I’ve been asked, where is your proof that you are getting these vaccines?” said Bellis. “How do we know you are not bringing false hope?”
Bellis tells FOX31 she’s been taking screen shots of vaccine appointments she’s successfully booked to prove to people she’s doing the work.
“It’s an absolutely valid concern because people are getting scammed out of money for these vaccines,” said Bellis.
To avoid being scammed by someone who calls themself a vaccine finder, you should never work with a person who asks for money. A trustworthy vaccine finder will never ask for your social security number, credit card information or insurance ID numbers.
They will however, ask for your first and last name, date of birth, address, email, phone number and name of insurance provider. They may also ask for basic medical information.
Fake vaccine hunters typically target the elderly who may not be tech savvy or wouldn’t think twice about paying for a helpful service. Most trustworthy vaccine hunters will be more than happy to talk to you on the phone before booking your appointment or stay on the phone with you while they search the web.
It’s also important to remember that specific insurance and personal information will only be required at the time of your appointment when sitting down with a healthcare professional, right before getting the vaccine.