How to stay protected from COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 10:03 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - As COVID-19 vaccines are making headlines, so are the scams that come with it.

“We have seen during the pandemic the crooks follow the headlines and they are going to create a scenario that is going to be convincing because they pray on what’s kinda top of mind for consumers and the vaccine is now what is current top of mind for everyone,”Monica Horton the Better Business Bureau spokesperson said.

Horton said, they have been following and tracking scams all across the state of Texas. The most recent scam being the COVID-19 vaccine.

“You need to know and realize that there are government imposters out there there is a lot of phony websites right now scouting things,” Horton said.

“They are getting the text message, they are getting the email, they are getting the social media contact, that is the most common form coming into your phone and to your computer,” Nenette Day said.

Human Health Services Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nenette Day said, the people that have the highest chance of being targeted are people that are not yet eligible for the vaccine. People outside of Phase 1A and 1B.

“People are receiving messages saying hey we have a facility that has some left over vaccine and they are just going to give it to anybody who wants it. Things like that that just don’t make any sense and we are already seeing that,” Day said.

The scammers ask you to pay out of pocket, or pay to put your name on a waiting list, or marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payments.

“The states are responsible for the distribution of vaccines so you are going to want to be listening to and working through your state health department,” Day said.

Vaccines are only being distributed to hospitals, clinics, and known pharmacies.

“Do your research, be diligent, and if consumers have questions about the vaccines contact your doctor and research information with trusted news sources” Horton said.

If you feel like you have been a victim of the COVID-19 vaccine scam and would like to report it, go to the HHS, FBI, or the CMS Medicare hotlines.

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