CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - While the announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope of a return to normalcy, it’s important to know that scammers will be playing off your emotions, looking to wipe your bank accounts clean.
“If it looks too good to be true, it’s probably not true,” Barry Moore, the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia, said. “Do your research before you purchase anything.”
Moore says there has been an uptick in scams around COVID-19. “The last six to seven months especially there’s been a lot of scams out regarding cheap face masks,” he said. “Trying to get your anti-COVID prescriptions which don’t exist, of course.”
Moore says everything related to the vaccine will be handled by the government.
“If they say ‘we have vaccines available now,’ ‘we’ve got an advanced shipment,’ that’s fake,” he said. “Don’t even go there, don’t open up those websites, and any COVID prevention steps to take instead of the vaccine, those are all fake as well. So, all of it is fake, fake, fake.”
There’s a scammer tracker on the Better Business Bureau’s website that shows all the different scams going on.
“You can track daily all the scams taking place in central Virginia, including the fast approaching vaccine scams,” Moore said.
He says his best advice is to look at trusted sources, including your doctor.
“Watch for the CDC,” Moore said. “Watch for the task force out of the White House. Watch for information that’s solid and do your research. Don’t go by emotions and don’t go by people trying to press you to do something quickly over a phone call. Take your time. Do your research.”
The Better Business Bureau advises anyone who thinks they are getting scammed to alert their local police department as well as the Federal Trade Commission and the BBB.