Florida officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for COVID-19 vaccination scams.
The Better Business Bureau said consumers may notice an increase in suspicious texts or emails claiming to have information about the vaccine in exchange for personal information, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said Monday.
"As the state works to prioritize COVID-19 vaccination for our seniors, it’s despicable that scam artists would prey on our most vulnerable populations," Patronis said. "Right now, fraudsters are working overtime to take advantage of consumers in attempt to steal your personal information."
Patronis said Floridians should closely monitor their financial accounts for fraudulent activity and be wary of vaccine information.
He also released some Better Business Bureau tips:
• 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.
• Think the link may be real? 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.