High demand, short supply of COVID-19 vaccine working in favor of scammers

News
May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A coronavirus vaccine scam is in it’s early stages but is already successfully stealing money and personal information.

The COVID-19 vaccine is something in high demand and short supply.

This works to a scammers advantage, being able to offer something that many people need all while phishing for payment and personal information.

The vaccine is here, being distributed to thousands across the Valley.

To get a vaccine in Fresno County, residents are booking appointment times online.

Those slots are going fast.

The county’s website Wednesday morning read ‘All appointment times have been filled‘.

Scammers use this to their advantage, offering a fraudulent way for you to skip the line.

“I think everyone is excited about the prospect of getting a coronavirus vaccine and because of that, scammers are tricking people with these calls to action like “Act now, or you might miss out on an early vaccine,” Clayton Alexander, Communications Specialist with the Better Business Bureau, said.

They offer you a vaccine and in return want two things: Payment and personal information.

“When your personal information is stolen, these scammers will actually sell off these lists of people’s personal information to other scammers and you might be caught up in other scams,” Alexander said.

The Better Business Bureau warns there have been many scams surrounding the coronavirus.

But this one has potential to be wide-spread.

It isn’t just the elderly or one specific group, it’s anyone who wants a vaccine, which has proven to be a big target.

“Unfortunately we’re probably going to see this scam get a lot worse,” Alexander said.

The vaccine is not expected to reach the broad public for several months.

Right now, it’s only being administered to healthcare workers and people 75 or older in Fresno County.

For more information on how to properly sign up for the vaccine or sign up for alerts regarding the vaccine, visit the county’s official website here.

If you are receiving phone calls, texts, or emails that you think could be part of a scam, call our CBS47 On Your Side tip line at 559-761-0383 or email us at OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com.

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