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How to avoid coronavirus vaccine scams over the phone

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Coronavirus vaccines have started to roll out throughout the world, causing people to consider their options for when and how to receive a vaccine.

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be on the lookout against fraudsters peddling phony treatments, phishing schemes and other attempts for people to steal your money or personal information.

The BBB said in a release that consumers should become most aware of phishing messages and robocalls.

These messages try to impersonate government agencies and organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and trick you into giving out personal information.

Recommendations to avoid scams:

  • Research carefully
  • Double check the URL
  • Check with your doctor if you want to get the vaccine early
  • Ignore calls for immediate action

Dr. Robin Blount, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Boone Hospital Center, said no medical official would ask for personal information over the phone.

"That's not what would happen if somebody [from the hospital] called, they wouldn't say, 'hey I can give you a vaccine and give me your credit card and all types of things,' it would be a scam," she said.

According to the BBB, some scammers are also trying to sell fake vaccines as countries have started vaccination distribution.

Right now the vaccine is not available to the general public and Blount said it would not even be offered over the phone.

"The only available vaccine is with registered vaccinators in the state of Missouri," Blount said.

Federal agencies are working to make sure reliable and legitimate vaccines are being distributed.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus
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Zola Crowder

Zola Crowder joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in June 2020 after graduating from the University of Missouri with a broadcast journalism degree. Before reporting at ABC 17, Zola was a reporter at KOMU where she learned to cover politics, crime, education, economics and more.

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