February 16, 2021
The Steuben County Sheriff and county Office For the Aging joined to issue a warning today about the increasing COVID-19 vaccine scams in the area, based on recent alerts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Better Business Bureau. “You get a phone call, social media message, or an email from someone who appears to be a friend, or a hospital or clinic saying you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” county Sheriff Jim Allard said. “But
according to the Better Business Bureau, there’s a catch. The person who contacted you needs personal information or requires you to pay up front. That’s when you hang up or click delete.”
According to the FTC, vaccine distribution varies by state and territory, with criminals poised to take advantage of any confusion. The scammers prey on the anxiety of those who know they are eligible, or soon will be eligible, particularly the elderly, essential workers and others at risk, county OFA Director Patty Baroody said. “It can be frightening to wait, when you’re older, or have other health conditions, and it’s very tempting to jump at a chance to be safer,” Baroody said. “But people need to take a big dose of patience, as hard as that is.”
Baroody and Allard recommend the following guidelines: · Know your region’s plan for rolling out the vaccine. · Ignore ads for the COVID-19 vaccine. You cannot buy it – anywhere. The vaccine is only available at federal- and state-approved locations.