301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

12.16.20 – LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — As more COVID-19 vaccines become available to the general public, officials are warning Arkansans who may fall for scams related to the vaccine.

Several agencies and organizations, including the Arkansas Better Business Bureau and AARP are warning against the scams that are about to flood the market – specifically ones claiming that you can access a COVID-19 vaccine more quickly and for a small fee.

“There’s a new scam right around the corner, and so now we’re warning individuals to be aware of receiving texts, or phone calls or emails claiming to be from your insurance company or a medical provider, that will provide you earlier access to the COVID vaccine,” said Arkansas BBB CEO, Janet Robb.

Robb is also warning against emails or text messages claiming to be associated with companies such as Pfizer – the company that has released the vaccine so far.

“Your average joe blow is not going to get to jump ahead and go in front of the line just because you give someone your credit card number,” she said. “What these scammers are after, typically, is either going to be a credit card number or better yet your social security number and date of birth because with those two pieces of information, they can do a lot of things.”

While scammers will target those who are the most vulnerable, anyone is susceptible to this scam.

“Everyone is excited about the possibility of the vaccine and its effectiveness, of course, who doesn’t want to jump at the chance to protect yourself and your family – scammers rely on that,” Robb added. “They rely on the fact that you’re not going to stop and think about, you’re going to let your emotions take over and say yes – what information do you need? put me on your list.”

Robb said no doctor or medical provider is going to offer people to skip the line for a small fee.

If you receive some type of communication offering this, you’re encouraged to report it to the BBB at 501-664-4888.