Proof that Patience Pays Off! Whether it is a flu shot or a COVID-19 vaccination, don’t let a rush to the doctor lower your immunity to scams. Fraudsters are promising early access to vaccines but at a cost. Their offers are not legit. Those scammed may end up with their personal information exposed and money stolen without ever receiving the vaccine. Vaccination plans will vary across state and local governments.
Check the Florida COVID-19 Response Page for information on when and how to get the vaccine. You can also speak with your health care provider, pharmacist, or health insurance provider to learn more.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sharing these tips to avoid vaccine-related scams:
- Do not pay to sign up for the vaccine. Anyone who asks for a payment to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.
- Ignore sales ads for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can’t buy it – anywhere, including online pharmacies. The vaccine is only available at federal- and state-approved locations, such as vaccination centers and pharmacies.
- Watch for unexpected or unusual texts. Do not click on links in text messages – especially messages you didn’t expect. If your health care provider or pharmacist has used text messages to contact you in the past, you might get a text from them about the vaccine. If you get a text, call your health care provider or pharmacist directly to make sure they sent the text. Scammers are texting, too.
- Do not open emails, attachments, or links from people you don’t know or that come unexpectedly. You could download dangerous malware onto your computer or phone.
- Do not share your personal, financial, or health information with people you don’t know. No one from a vaccine distribution site, health care provider’s office, pharmacy, health insurance company or Medicare, will call, text, or email you asking for your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number to sign you up to get the vaccine.
Report COVID-19 vaccine scams to the FTC online, reportfraud.ftc.gov.