As the pharma, Pfizer, BioNTech are permitted to release their COVID-19 vaccines and make their way in the U.S., unscrupulous people are poised to scam unsuspecting people.
The government warns people of possible scammers who will promise access to planned vaccine distribution in exchange for information and personal things. Some companies are advertising treatments that are just as effective as COVID-19 treatments. Which might have deadly side effects if taken.
A statement from the FBI published on CNN said that scammers take advantage of the interest in COVID-19 medicines. They want personal information through various monetary schemes, reported CNN.
Accord to the FBI, it informed CNN to be more vigilant as unscrupulous scammers will exploit the coronavirus pandemic by hook or crook.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is active in preventing the selling of non-legit COVID-19 cocktails that might prove lethal. To further these ends to protect consumers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters. Addressing seven companies that are selling bogus products with alleged scientific claims that are supposed to cure people.
The Better Business Bureau said in a news release that selling bogus vaccines and treatments are the avenues that scammers will time their efforts with the vaccine release. Another use of wanting vaccines is to get personal information via phishing via email or text messages. Make a mistake, and all passwords are in danger too.
One option is to take precautions and stay safe.
Scams will be sure to appear when uncertainty and interest like this pandemic is perfect for fraudsters. Fear of infection will be an excellent place to start.
Katherine Hutt, the BBB national spokesperson, said that it is not surprising at all. News of a vaccine coming soon, with certainty. A warning was already aired as soon when word came to counter scammers.
The BBB suggested recommendations to help identify scammers. One of these is checking with a personal doctor, never consider a call that demands immediate action. Another thing to do is check out information from the news.
News of 2.9 million doses of vaccines will be sent to the U.S. soon, but it is not the number needed for massive distribution. If two doses are required, it may not be sufficient for that. Once the vaccinations come in the U.S., healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities get it first. Prioritization of health workers will be done as the initial beneficiaries.
This is where scammers will come because it will take time to immunize everyone right away. It will take time to make all the needed doses. Scammers will bank on the need to get it or miss the chance. It is all about pressuring their victims. If people need it, then scammers might get what they want.
Unexpectedly, this will be a problem; pandemics can create an environment conducive to scams. A vaccine may be too hard to resist for some.
FTC received more than 20,000 reports via text of many scams that are related to the pandemic. Included are pet scams as well, about 4,000 of them too. Added to these will be COVID-19 vaccine scams as well.
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