According to recent news reports, scammers used the popular event website Eventbrite to pose as county health departments and take or attempt to take payments in exchange for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about the COVID-19 vaccine scam.
“Consumer Protection investigators and criminal prosecutors in my office are aggressively pursuing reports of scammers taking money in exchange for phony COVID-19 vaccine reservations,” Moody said. “If you have been a victim of this scam, please contact my office so we can end this fraud and help protect those seeking vaccinations.”
States are overseeing the free COVID-19 vaccine distribution rather than the federal government.
To help manage appointment scheduling, several counties in Florida have turned to ticketing services like Eventbrite; however, NO county is charging for vaccine reservations!
Moody recommends the following tips to help Floridians avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related scams:
- Know that anyone asking for money in exchange for an appointment is a scam
- Check with county health departments for local vaccine distribution guidelines
- Be wary of any website where pop-up ads solicit a vaccine appointment
- Look for “https” or a padlock icon in the website name to ensure that you are on a secure websit
- Report suspicious solicitations or COVID-19 vaccine-related advertisements to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
For more tips on spotting and avoiding COVID-19 vaccine scams, see Moody’s previous Consumer Alert here.