Officials warn of scammers ahead of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

CDC recommends masks in public settings

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The possibility is high that a COVID-19 vaccine will begin to be distributed across the U.S. within a matter of days.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning that scammers won’t be far behind.

“While we wait for a timeline and more information, there’s no doubt scammers will be scheming,” according to information from the FTC.

Members of the federal agency said this is what people need to know to avoid a vaccine-related scam:

  • You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
  • You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
  • Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.

According to the FTC, if someone gets a call, text, email, or a knock at the door from a stranger, claiming they can get an individual early access to the vaccine, that’s a scam.

They advise everyone not to pay for a promise of vaccine access or share personal information. Instead, they should report it to the FTC or file a complaint with a state attorney general.

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