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Florida lawmakers to discuss bill that creates penalties for COVID-19 vaccine fraud

WINK News has been warning you for weeks about possible COVID-19 vaccination scams. Now, lawmakers in Tallahassee are going to discuss a bill that could create penalties for those vaccine-related scams.

Florida Representative Adrian Zika is the sponsor of the bill and he wants to see these scammers go to jail.

With the vaccine being so hard to get, crooks are capitalizing on your desperation to get the shot.

“First offense is a third-degree felony so it’s punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and if you are a repeat offender, a second or subsequent offense is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison,” said Zika.

This bill is aimed at going after the cyber criminals trying to take advantage of Floridians that are looking to get a COVID-19 vaccine. They’ve already put up fake websites.

“The scammers are creating websites that look very authentic to lure unsuspecting consumers to pay for vaccines or to get appointments,” Zika said.

While there are federal penalties already in place for committing these types of fraud, this bill will give the State Attorney General and law enforcement additional ammunition to fight this crime.

“We’re going hard after these fraudsters, it’s completely unacceptable what they are doing,” he said.

Representative Zika also mentioned that the bill will be fast-tracked for passage and he expects bipartisan support.

Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Drew Hill
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