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Better Business Bureau warns of COVID-19 vaccine scams

Scammers prey on those desperate for a vaccine

Better Business Bureau warns of COVID-19 vaccine scams
Better Business Bureau warns of COVID-19 vaccine scams

DETROITThe whole world is waiting for the first coronavirus vaccine to arrive, and that includes scam artists who are looking to use that desperation to make money.

The Better Business Bureau is sounding the alarm in hopes you won’t be fooled.

Read: How Henry Ford Hospital played key role in Moderna vaccine study

Con artist are offering up ways to get a vaccine by telling people they can take part in clinical trials. False offers like this are likely to continue as COVID-19 cases skyrocket.

“Basically what happens you’ll get a text message, possibly an email, or a Facebook or social media message stating ‘Hey, you could qualify for a clinical trial and make money doing it,’” said Rihanna Smith Hamblin, with the BBB.

Scammers might offer hundreds or thousands of dollars, but there’s usually a catch and they might ask for money up front or personal information.

Watch out for red flags -- if you haven’t inquired about a clinical trial and you get a message about one, delete it.

Real clinical trials will never ask you to pay them.

“If you get the text, they will ask you to click on a link or download some type of document,” Hamblin said. “If you are downloading a document, you could be putting malware on your computer. That’s a big problem, they are trying to take your information. If you click on a link, they might be fishing throughout your personal information.”

Never give out your Social Security number and never share financial information -- like your bank account or routing number -- unless you are 100% sure who you are doing business with.


Henry Ford prepares to receive COVID-19 vaccine as approval nears

Once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, Henry Ford says it is prepared to receive and store the vaccine -- which requires storage at extremely low temperatures.

Drug companies Pfizer and Moderna have both developed promising COVID-19 vaccines that are nearing approval in the U.S. Both vaccines also require unique storage to maintain their potency and efficacy.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.