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Thursday, January 5, 2023

Vaccine Court Provides Tips for Avoiding VICP Scams

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims (also known as the Vaccine Court) is encouraging claimants to be wary of fraud scams purportedly related to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Unfortunately, these types of fraud scams are not uncommon, as scam artists frequently try to prey on individuals who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

In particular, the Vaccine Court warns of three types of VICP scams:

  • Identity theft scams seeking to obtain VICP claimants’ personal information
  • Advance fee scams seeking payment before “settlement funds” can be released
  • Telemarketing scams using false claims or high-pressure tactics to get people to share their personal information or make advance payments.

As the Vaccine Court explains, it “DOES NOT call, email, or send letters requesting money, gift cards, or personal identifying information.” The court also advises that VICP claimants “SHOULD NOT provide money, or a tax payment, [ to anyone in exchange for a [VICP] settlement check even if the request allegedly comes from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the [VICP], the Office of Special Masters, or the United States Court of Federal Claims.”

4 Tips for Avoiding National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) Scams

To avoid these VICP scams, the Vaccine Court offers the following tips (among others):

1. “Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request.”

Neither the VICP nor the Vaccine Court will ask you to provide any personal information or any form of payment other than the information and filing fee you include with your vaccine injury petition. If you receive a request for personal information or payment related to your VICP claim, it is almost certainly fraudulent.

2. “Do online searches.”

If you have questions about whether a communication you have received is legitimate, the Vaccine Court recommends doing some research online. Most likely, you are not the first person the scam has targeted, and someone else may have reported it already. If you cannot find any information online, you can contact a lawyer for help.

3. “Don’t pay upfront for a promise.”

Some VICP scams target claimants by offering—for a fee—to help with their vaccine injury claim. You should be skeptical of any such solicitation, as no vaccine lawyer will contact you to advertise his or her services. Never pay upfront for an unsolicited service, and here too, you should do your research and seek help if necessary.

4. “Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust.”

When in doubt, be cautious, and seek advice from someone who can help you. Under no circumstances will the VICP or Vaccine Court contact you and say you need to act immediately. If you are dealing with high-pressure tactics, this is a red flag for fraud. Do not respond, but instead ask for help from someone you trust.

Contact VICP Lawyer Leah V. Durant

Leah V. Durant is an experienced VICP lawyer who handles vaccine injury claims on behalf of individuals and families nationwide. If you have questions related to the VICP or the Vaccine Court, you can call 202-800-1711 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.

 

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.


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