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Better Business Bureau warns of COVID-19 vaccine scams; here's what to look out for

Posted at 8:11 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 08:11:28-05

(WXYZ) — It's hard to believe that a year ago, the world was just learning about the coronavirus in China. The virus hadn't reached our shores yet, and now, a vaccine is being rolled out to put an end to the pandemic.

But the Better Business Bureau is warning people there are scammers out there who will try to capitalize on this moment.

“If anybody is calling you for a test or to get you on a vaccine list, it’s a scam, flat out," BBB of Eastern Michigan and UP President and CEO Melanie Duquesnel said.

She said her own mother was targeted, but she happened to be there when the phone rang and picked up.

“They call themselves Nevada CARES meaning part of the CARES Act. They wanted her date of birth and her Medicare card number," she said. “The guy called back two more times. He was that insistent.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is warning the public that COVID-19 fraud is "rapidly evolving."

Back in June, the assistant inspector general released a video warning people to protect themselves against COVID-19 healthcare fraud.

Scammers could use your personal info to fraudulently bill federal health care programs and commit identity theft.

The latest concern is scammers offering a people a chance to avoid long vaccine lines and get an earlier dose if you pay for it.

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The U.S. HHS said "you will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility."

Money can’t buy your place in line for this vaccine.

Remember, government officials will not call you or come to your door to obtain personal info for you to receive the vaccine, set up any tests, collect money or offer you any grants.

Also, real contact tracers won't ask for personal or financial information, or money.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.