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Pay for a coronavirus vaccine? Don’t, it’s a scam.

Florida seniors are being tricked with phony websites, attorney general says

A registered nurse holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Many seniors are receiving vaccinations in Florida, but if you're asked to pay to secure an appointment, you are likely being scammed.
A registered nurse holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Many seniors are receiving vaccinations in Florida, but if you're asked to pay to secure an appointment, you are likely being scammed. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – If you’re being asked to send money online to secure a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, don’t pull out your credit card — it’s a scam.

Florida General Ashley Moody has issued a consumer alert, warning that “misleading” websites are requesting money and offering the promise of one of those coveted vaccine reservations.

States like Florida are offering vaccines for senior citizens and other eligible patients at no cost, and Moody’s office said that some counties have used ticketing services like the website Eventbrite for appointments — but none of the state’s counties are charging for them.

She cited a report from Forbes that detailed Florida seniors being tricked by scammers using the same Eventbrite website. Pages pretending to be the health departments from Pasco and Pinellas counties led to people showing up only to realize they didn’t actually have an appointment.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Scammers can be reported by calling 1-866-966-7226 or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.


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