Beware: H1N1 Vaccine Profile e-mail is a hoax

12/16/2009

GREEN BAY - An e-mail, seemingly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requesting that recipients create an H1N1 vaccination profile, is nothing more than an elaborate phishing scam, the CDC says.

A typical phishing scam falsely claims to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to trick computer users into sharing private information to be used for identity theft. The scams are typically carried out by e-mail and often direct users to enter details at a fake web site nearly identical to the legitimate one.

The fraudulent CDC e-mails reference a CDC-sponsored State Vaccination Program and request that users create a personal H1N1 Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov web site. The message says anyone that has reached the age of 18 has to have a personal Vaccination Profile on the web site.

The CDC says it has not implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration on www.cdc.gov. “Users that click on the e-mail are at risk of having malicious code installed on their system,” the CDC said.

The CDC encourages computer users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being victimized by phishing schemes:

• Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to unsolicited e-mail messages
• Use caution when visiting un-trusted web sites
• Use caution when entering personal information online

In related news, earlier this week the Wisconsin Department of Health Services gave the green light for members of the general public – as well as high-risk populations – to be vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. Now anyone who wants the vaccine can get it, state health experts said.

Bellin Health is encouraging its patients to call their regular primary care clinic to schedule an appointment for vaccination.

“All of our family medical centers are stocked with H1N1 vaccine,” said Ellen Roy, an infection preventionist at Bellin. “We are vaccinating anyone, high-risk or not, who requests an inoculation against H1N1.”