BBB Tip: Hunting for a COVID-19 Vaccine? Be Careful Sharing Personal Information
If you’re looking for assistance scheduling an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org/Nebraska) warns against sharing personal information with “vaccine hunter” websites, online forums, and social media groups that have sprung up offering to help people find open appointments and leftover vaccine doses. While most of these website and online groups are legitimate resources, this situation is an ideal opportunity for scammers to push phony vaccines and other cons. The BBB warns to use caution when following links or providing personal information.
Centralized vaccine availability websites, similar to airfare aggregation sites, scan the databases of vaccine providers, such as CVS or Rite Aid for availability. VaccineFinders.org is one such site and is promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These websites can be handy tools, but be wary of lookalike sites that collect personal information or require payment. The best way to avoid cons when looking for a vaccine appointment is to go through official public health channels—such as the public health department or a pharmacy—and approved providers. Anyone claiming to sell vaccine doses is a scammer, and don’t pay to add your name to a waiting list.
The Better Business Bureau has been serving local communities since 1936. The overall mission of the organization is to be a leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information, visit bbb.org/Nebraska or call (800) 649-6814.