Scammers taking advantage of COVID-19 vaccine sign-ups: What to know

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Local health officials have a warning for those waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine: make sure you are registering on the right website. The Better Business Bureau tells us that vaccination scams are popping up throughout the Stateline. We have tips on avoiding these schemes. “We know […]

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Local health officials have a warning for those waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine: make sure you are registering on the right website.

The Better Business Bureau tells us that vaccination scams are popping up throughout the Stateline. We have tips on avoiding these schemes.

“We know already that there are attempts to either fraudulently claim money out of this vaccination effort, send people solicitation that I can get you a vaccine sooner or later,” said Winnebago County Health Director Dr. Sandra Martell.

As Winnebago County prepares to move into the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination process, local experts warn people to be on the lookout for a rash of scams.

“You could get a phone call or a text message [saying] that you could get the vaccine for $79.99. All you got to do is give them your credit card information. Or go and purchase a debit card, give them that PIN information, and you’ll be on the list,” said Dennis Horton, the director for the BBB Rockford Regional Office.

Horton says anyone who asks for financial information over the phone or in an email is probably trying to make a quick buck.

“Anytime you’re asked to pay a fee for the registration or the vaccine itself, those are both red flags that you’re about to be scammed,” said Horton.

Social media sites are another common place for scammers to go to work.

“Places like Craigslist, where they are offering vaccines and home delivery of vaccines,” Horton explained.

If you go through the Winnebago County Health Department’s online portal to register for the vaccine, Dr. Martell says there are signs to look for to make sure you don’t become a victim.

“When you get the confirmatory email, it will have an at WCHD.org email address,” she explained. “Also, we will not ask you for insurance, we will not ask you about your citizenship status, and we will not ask you for any payment.”

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