NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. has many seeing the end of pain, suffering and needless deaths. But one organization is warning a lot of other people see the vaccine as an opportunity to steal from consumers.

After using the pandemic to sell fake testing kits and promote fraudulent vaccine trials, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is anticipating that scammers will use the vaccine rollout to lure people into phishing scams or paying for fraudulent treatments.

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According to the BBB, there will most likely be an increase in suspicious texts or emails claiming to have information about the vaccine in exchange for some personal information. The lures may be on social media or in mailed letters claiming the vaccine can be purchased.

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Before opening those messages or ads about the COVID-19 vaccine, the BBB suggests you do the following:

  • Research carefully. Fact check any information you receive about the vaccine using official sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is also regularly updating its website with any progress made on developing treatments.
  • Ask your doctor. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine early, discuss your options with your healthcare provider. If you do not have a primary care physician, you can find more information on your local health department’s website.
  • Avoid acting immediately. Scammers may urge you to act quickly by paying for treatment or sharing your information before you have time to think through the decision. Although you may want to be first in line to receive the vaccine, take your time to do thorough research before acting.
  • Check the URL. Websites run by scammers can be persuasive, so check the URL and look for suspicious typos. If the information appears to be coming from a government website, the web address will end with .gov. Also, be sure the URL begins in “https,” which indicates a site is secure.

For more tips on avoiding scams, visit us at BBB.org. Check CDC.gov and FDA.gov for the latest updates on COVID-19 and vaccinations.

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CBSDFW.com Staff