The Federal Trade Commission today issued a new consumer education blog post with the National Association of Attorneys General, offering tips on how to recognize and avoid vaccine-related scams. According to the post, with COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline, scammers will not be far behind, and people should recognize the red flags of potential scams.
The post notes that: 1) reports about the release of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. by the end of the year are promising, but distribution plans are still being worked out; 2) while we wait for a timeline and more information, people need to be wary of pitchmen claiming to have vaccine doses for sale; and 3) for most people living in the U.S., state agencies—not individuals—will be responsible for implementing vaccine distribution plans.
Specifically, the post cautions that until a vaccine distribution timeline is available, people should know that if they get a call, text, email—or even someone knocking on their door—claiming they can provide early access to the vaccine, it’s a scam. People should not pay for a promise of vaccine access or share their personal information. Instead, they should report the scam to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or file a complaint with their state or territorial attorney general through consumerresources.org(link is external), the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General.
For more information about COVID-related scams and tips on how to recognize, avoid and report them, see ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and to protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Like the FTC on Facebook(link is external), follow us on Twitter(link is external), get consumer alerts, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.