COLUMBUS (WCMH) — “Scammers are on top of things,” said Jessica Kapcar with the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio.
And according to the BBB, scammers are now targeting vulnerable Ohioans, who are hoping and waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Some of the reports we’ve been seeing are people getting text messages, emails, phone calls asking for their personal information to be eligible for the vaccine,” said Kapcar. “Some people have gotten text messages or emails about getting the vaccine for as low as $150 dollars. We’ve also gotten a couple reports of people being offered money to receive the vaccine.”
But their offers aren’t legitimate, and potential victims could end up with their personal information and money stolen… and no vaccine.So, it’s important, according to Kapcar, to spot the red flags and react the right way.
“Knowing that you shouldn’t have to give your personal information to anybody over the phone, knowing that you shouldn’t have to pay money to get the vaccine, knowing that you probably shouldn’t be getting money to get the vaccine, as well,” Kapcar said.
Instead, know your region’s plan for rolling out the vaccine, and when it will be available to you. You can find the rollout schedule here.
Guard your government-issued numbers. Never offer your social security number, Medicare ID, or banking information.- And never click on a link in an email or text message.
“The best way to respond to it, is not to respond to it,” said Kapcar.
And once you get the vaccine… think twice before posting a photo of your vaccination card on social media. The BBB says the self-identifying information on it, your full name and birth date, makes you vulnerable to identity theft, and can help scammers create phony versions to sell for a profit.
If you must share, share safely.