Protecting yourself against COVID-19 vaccine scams

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10)– From traveling to entering events, proof of vaccination is now becoming a requirement for many places. But like with anything, it’s something scammers are targeting.

“Criminals are motivated typically by money, and they are going to do whatever you can to reach that end goal,” explained Adam Dean, Greycastle Senior Security Specialist. “If that means exploiting the pandemic, whether it be people trying to get vaccines or people trying to find a place to get tested. They will do it.”

To help protect yourself, experts say it’s best not to post your vaccination card online if you’ve received one, since it has personal information on it that could be used for cyber stalking.

“There is a very worrisome trend right now with social networks where, it’s a double edged sword. It’s going to counter fit cards, but also authentic cards that are being duplicated and leveraged in these counterfeits,” said Saoud Khalifah, Founder and CEO of Fakespot.

Counterfeit cards are being sold to those not wanting to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which ultimately puts others at risk.

“The FBI has recently come out that these cards are very harmful and illegal because any card that has the official US agency stamp on it, in this case CDC, and you buy it as a counterfeit form, it’s very very illegal and it’s a federal crime,” explained Khalifah.

FEMA has also shared advice on how to spot scams by reminding everyone that COVID vaccinations are free and that you should never be charged for getting help with the process. Also, beware of any other covid-19 products that someone might try to sell you. And of course, be mindful that things such as caller ID and emails can be faked.

“If there is vaccine links or appointments going around, look at what you’re clicking on,” stated Dean. “Look at the website that it’s bringing you to.”

Apps like Fakespot can help protect you from e-commerce scams. If you have any questions regarding a vaccine appointment, it’s best to contact your provider directly for verification.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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