Vaccine scams on the rise

The most in-demand item in Southwest Florida right now could also lead to some trouble.

You get a long-awaited call that you can get a COVID-19 vaccine shot, but is it too good to be true?

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that people in Southwest Florida may have to travel to other parts of the state to get a vaccine, as arms vastly outnumber shots right now.

That creates a role for “vaccine hunters,” people who search the internet to find open appointments. It also opens the door for scammers to try and tell you they found one for you – for a price.

“Bad guys prey on fear and confusion; it’s a hot spot for them because there is a lot of fear about the limitations of getting the vaccine right now, so people are panicking,” said Carrie Kerskie of the Kerskie Group.

If you get a call asking you to pay for the vaccine, it’s a scam.

Some tips to avoid scams:

  • Use a public or state health sites to register;
  • Don’t pay to add your name to a list;
  • Protect your personal information;
  • Check the website’s spelling; and
  • Do your homework.

If you get a suspicious call, just hang up. Don’t interact with the caller and don’t give any information.

There are plenty of valid websites to get official information and register to get a vaccine. Here are some resources:

Latest vaccine schedules and resources

BBB Scam Tracker

Protect Yourself: Avoid COVID-19 Scams (pdf)

Three Ways to Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams (pdf)

Click to access 20199_covid_vaccine_scams_infographic_8-5x11_v3.pdf

Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:WINK News
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