Criminals are capitalizing on confusion surrounding COVID vaccines: BBB

BBB: Criminals are capitalizing on confusion surrounding COVID vaccines

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Figuring out who’s eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get it can vary depending where you live.

Now criminals are capitalizing on the confusion, the Better Business Bureau warns.

As legitimate vaccination sites pop up, the agency is being flooded with reports from people who’ve been duped into thinking they could shell out a few hundred dollars to get the vaccine sooner.

[READ MORE: Get more information on vaccinations in Hawaii by visiting HNN’s special section]

“You are not going to be able to pay to get to the head of the line. There is a procedure,” said BBB communications manager Roseann Freitas.

Freitas says it’s just one of the many tactics criminals are using to steal money and personal information.

“Somebody received a call and was told that they would be paid to take the vaccine,” she said. “Another call somebody claimed to be helping them get into the line. But they wanted their Medicare information.”

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says in addition to kupuna over the age of 75, clinicians have begun vaccinating some teachers and other essential frontline workers.

As for where to get accurate information on what’s happening and when Green said, “People should only go to HawaiiCOVID19.com. That’s the only official website. All of our partners are on that website.”

Going through improper channels to get a vaccine could jeopardize your health.

This week, NBC reported a Washington man named Johnny Stine was arrested on federal charges after allegedly traveling the country injecting people with an unknown substance.

The report said the 56-year-old claimed it was a Covid-19 “vaccine” he’d created in his personal lab.

Freitas says instances like that underscore the importance of getting information from legitimate sources. “We know if it’s starting to happen on the mainland, it’s just a matter of time before it’s happening here,” she said. “If it’s not already happening here.”

Freitas added scammers aren’t just connecting with people by phone.

Victims have also been contacted through text and email. She says if you get one don’t click any links. It could download malware on your device.

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