NY Consumer Protection gives tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccination scams
With the COVID-19 vaccine already being distributed to certain groups throughout the state, officials are warning that scammers trying to make a buck from unsuspecting New Yorkers may be coming out of the woodwork.
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The director of the New York State Division of Consumer Protection, Paula O'Brien, says now more than ever you should always follow the No. 1 rule— if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
O'Brien says over the last few years, government imposter scams have been on the rise. She says the Federal Trade Commission reported 8,900 incidences of COVID-19 scams in New York since the pandemic started, totaling more than $12 million lost by New Yorkers.
Some possible scams include someone calling to say they can get you to the front of the vaccine line, or someone emailing to ask for personal information to make sure you're set to go when it is your turn to get vaccinated.
O'Brien says the only official vaccination information will come from government sources and not to trust any third parties.
A few tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccination scams are to not click on links from sources you don't know, ignore online offers for vaccinations, avoid giving out personal information and hang up on robocalls right away.
O'Brien says not to be embarrassed if you are scammed, but do make sure to report it right away so they can investigate the fraudster and hopefully bring them to justice.
If you have questions about a potential scam, call Department of Consumer Protection Helpline at 800-697-1220 or visit the DCP website.
For up to date information on COVID-19 and vaccination information, visit www.ny.gov/vaccine or call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.