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How to avoid COVID-19 vaccine scams

Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley breaks down how to avoid COVID-19 vaccine scams.

Video Transcript


AKIKO FUJITA: We have heard so much about the confusion around trying to secure an appointment to get a vaccine, especially in the initial rollout with the limited supply. But add to that vaccine scams now. That's the focus of our Tech Support this week. Dan Howley joins us on that front. Dan?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, that's right. There's a good number of scams out there right now that are focused on trying to get people to pay for either getting access to a vaccine, getting online for a vaccine, or anything along those lines. So let's just go through some of the scams and how to fight back against them.

And the first is, like I said, a scam trying to get people to literally pay to get a vaccine. Now, this is something that the FCC has actually mentioned is going around. The important thing to take note of, though, is that everything to do with the vaccine is being paid for by the federal government. That's what the CDC says. The only fee that you may get wouldn't go to you. It would go to your insurance provider or Medicare provider or Medicaid provider. Those are the only kind of fees. They would be administrative fees, but you pay nothing out of pocket if you live in the United States. That goes for everyone.

The second scam is to pay to get on a waiting list. Now, yes, the rollout has been difficult. Yes, getting on a list has been difficult, and it's going to get probably a little bit worse as more people are eligible for the vaccine. But there are no charges at all to get on the waiting list. You simply go to your state or city or county health department's website and sign up. You will not have to pay.

After that there are tests-- sorry-- scams that are trying to get you to take tests prior to getting a vaccine. Now, this is something where they'll say, OK, we need to make sure you need a COVID tests before you get your vaccine. That's simply not the case. That does not happen. You don't have to pay for a test ahead of time, and most of the time, you don't have to pay for tests to begin with, depending on your insurance. So avoid that.

There's also, by the way, some websites that are using basically misspellings in the name of a certain vaccine provider. So Moderna, their site modernatx.com was spoofed by criminals as modernatx.shop. And people were being told they could buy vaccines there. That, again, not the case.

So if you're looking for some simple tips and tricks, basically don't fall for anything asking you to pay. If you're getting text messages or emails, things like that, that don't look like they're legitimate-- if they say they're coming from a hospital, go to that hospitals website instead. Don't rely on your email. If you think that it may be real go to the website that it says that it's coming through. Don't trust those. But again, the big thing to take away from here is nothing should be coming out of your pocket when it comes to these vaccines.

ZACK GUZMAN: All right. Dan Howley, bringing us the latest there. Appreciate that.