With the news that a COVID-19 vaccine is on the way, it didn't take long for scammers to try and capitalize on the situation.  However there are things you can do to avoid getting ripped off.

Scammers tend to tempt people with things that sound too good to be true and often with a sense of urgency to buy now or miss out on the opportunity.  The same is true with COVID-19 vaccination scams, which promise early and convenient vaccinations.

However, only legitimate medical providers will have access to the vaccine. All scammers want to do is secure your passwords, payment information and other personal details that they can use to steal from you.

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The Better Business Bureau offers the following tip to avoid these types of scams:

  • Research carefully: Scammers are very creative, so be skeptical of anything that seems too good – or crazy – to be true. Double check any information about the vaccine with official news sources. And be aware that none of the vaccines can be currently purchased online or in stores.
  • Check with your doctor: If you want a vaccine early, reach out to your healthcare provider about your options. If you don't have a primary care physician, check out the official website of your local health department for more information.
  • Ignore calls for immediate action: While you may want to be first in line for the vaccine, don’t let that sense of urgency cloud your judgment. Scammers try to get you to act before you think. Don't fall for it.
  • Double check the URL: Scammers often buy official-looking URLs to use in their cons. Be careful that the link is really what it pretends to be. If the message alleges to come from the local government, make sure the URL ends in .gov (for the United States) or .ca (for Canada). When in doubt, perform a separate internet search for the website.

The bottom line is to really scrutinize anything that seems out of the ordinary, regardless of the reason, protect your personal information, and contact your healthcare provider when it comes to things like vaccines.

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