Watch out! There's already a COVID-19 vaccine scam circulating

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Watch out! There's already a COVID-19 vaccine scam circulating
Scammers are targeting people eager to get a COVID-19 vaccine with false promises of adding names to lists and other tricks to steal their money. Press play to learn what to look out for and how to protect yourself.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As vaccine shipments go out, scammers are already trying to cash in. Some are selling fake vaccines, while others are promising to get you to the front of the line.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out across the country, the Better Business Bureau is warning that scammers will be right on its tail.

Here's how the scam works: You may receive a phone call, text message, email or even someone knocking at your door, claiming to get you on an early list to get the vaccine.

The scammers may promise you a COVID-19 vaccine for a fee or ask you to share your credit card or social security information. The Better Business Bureau of Houston said the elderly are, unfortunately, the most vulnerable.

"No one from Medicare or Medicaid is going to contact you to get you on a list, even if you are in a nursing facility, they just are not going to do that," said Carolina Petriciolet with the Better Business Bureau of Houston.

Here's how to avoid this vaccine scam:

According to the Federal Trade Commission, you likely will not pay for the vaccine out of pocket during this public health emergency.

Don't pay or give out your personal information in exchange for early access to the vaccine. Be wary of phone calls claiming to be your health care providers offering products, treatments or medicine to prevent the virus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the FTC, have also issued a fraud alerts aimed at Americans waiting to get vaccinated against COVID-19 that you will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility.

If you believe you're being targeted in a COVID-19 vaccine scam, report it to the BBB of Greater Houston immediately.

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