As N.C. awaits COVID-19 vaccine, BBB warns of vaccine scams

BBB warning of COVID vaccine scams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As many North Carolinians anxiously await a COVID-19 vaccine, scammers are acting quickly to get your information and money.

Throughout the pandemic, scams have popped up claiming to sell PPE and test kits.

ICE Homeland Security Investigations recently launched an operation to prevent the sale of unapproved products and drugs.

Since Thanksgiving at least two dozen people have reported phony texts or emails to the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont.

The scams are offering them a spot in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s a tempting offer, but President and CEO Tom Bartholomy wants you to know it is not real.

He said once some people click on that link their screen goes black, malware taking over the phone, and in most cases, it is not recoverable. Others report being directed to a pop-up asking for personal information and a payment method.

He said scammers are also targeting people on social media.

“Primarily people are getting it on social feeds,” Bartholomy said. “Click here you go to a website you can order your vaccine now. If that was real I don’t know that I’d be wanting to buy a vaccine online that you’d have to self-administer as well.”

Health officials want you to know there is no waiting list.

According to a spokesperson for the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department:

“Currently, the general public is not eligible for the first rounds of vaccine. As vaccine becomes available to individuals in the different phases information will be published on how they can access the vaccine.

“The best resources for accurate, updated information for our community is the County’s website, MeckNC.gov, and the City’s website, CharlotteNC.gov, in addition to the CDC’s COVID-19 website, cdc.gov/coronavirus and State Division of Public Health’s website.”

The BBB recommends a few different ways to determine if it is a scam:

1- Check with your doctor or local health department to find out if this came from them

2- Ignore anything asking for immediate action like an upfront payment

3- Double-check the URL to see if it ends in dot-gov

If you see a scam you want to report to the BBB, click here.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.