SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As COVID-19 vaccines near authorization, the Department of Homeland Security is warning of new scams that could pop up in the coming weeks.
“Any situation that I think they can capitalize on, they’ll do it,” said Alma Galvan with the Better Business Bureau of Northeast California. “We’ve been dealing with this for nearly 10 months now, and the fact that these scams are still happening is extremely disheartening from our end.”
Galvan said the Better Business Bureau is on the lookout for scams, especially after hearing a warning from the Department of Homeland Security about the potential for fake vaccine sales.
Agents have already made more than 1,600 seizures of phony products claiming to prevent or treat the disease.
When a real vaccine is approved, they worry people may be more likely to fall victim.
“Those that have been living, unfortunately, their life in fear, those are the ones that I think they’re more susceptible towards because, again, we’re all trying to get back to our normal lives,” Galvan told FOX40.
To keep your family and your wallet safe, Galvan said you should always talk with your doctor or licensed medical professional first before seeking any vaccine.
She stressed that COVID-19 vaccines will not be sold over the internet and to ignore any kind of unsolicited offers for vaccinations through emails, calls or text messages.
“What they’re trying to do is one, get your personal banking information if you’re buying something online. And two, just finding ways to hack into your computer systems, and three, blankly just putting malware in your computer,” Galvan explained.
She reminded everyone to have patience as a vaccine will likely not be available to the general public for several months.
“We’re not going to get the vaccine in one day. There is protocol we all have to follow,” she said. “If it sounds too good to be true, always verify with Better Business Bureau and your local county health department.”
The Department of Homeland Security asks that people report any kind of suspicious activity. Click or tap here to learn more.