CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - There are many fake COVID-19 websites circulating online that may look real at first glance, but the Better Business Bureau is asking you to do your research before giving up any personal information.
“Criminals are out there today in the COVID world working hard. Every day they get up trying to figure out how to rip you off, steal your identity, and get into your bank account,” Barry Moore, president of the Central Virginia BBB, said.
The BBB receives thousands of scammer complaints from central Virginians each year, but since the pandemic that number has increased.
“If out of the blue you get calls and texts, ‘hey your number is up, it’s time to get in for your COVID shot, but before you come in tomorrow we need this information to verify it’s who you are.’ You end up giving up information that’s not the right place, you end up having given up your personal ID,” Moore said.
Moore says if you have doubts about a link or suspicious phone call, chances are it’s fake.
“If you get an unsolicited text, or an unsolicited email, or an unsolicited phone call I would look very hard at whether that’s valid or not,” Moore said. “Chances are it is not, unless you sign up for that.”.
Moore wants to remind everyone to use common sense, so you don’t become a victim from these scams.
“The COVID shots are free. Getting in line is something you need to initiate with your hospitals, with your physicians, with you county, with your city, with the people running the vaccine program. You initiate it, they respond to you, that’s the way it should work. Not they initiate it and you respond. Chances are it’s going to be bogus,” Moore said.
If you have any concerns about a suspicious link or phone call about COVID-19, you can reach out to the BBB for help.