(WTHI) - Government officials are expecting a rise in scams, targeting the COVID-19 vaccine.
That's as vaccine distribution continues throughout country.
Experts say scammers are contacting people through unsolicited calls, texts, e-mails and social media messages. They claim to offer the COVID-19 vaccine, or access to it.
CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana, Tim Maniscalo, says if anyone reaches out to you about vaccine access, it's a red flag.
"You're not going to be solicited, just randomly, to get one of these COVID vaccines, or testing kit, or something like that," he said, "There is a distribution system."
If you're unsure if a message, or call, you received is a scam, The BBB recommends the following:
- Research carefully
The BBB says if it's too good to be true, it likely is. Double check vaccine information using official news sources. It's also important to remember none of the vaccines are sold online or in-store.
- Check with your doctor
For early access to the vaccine, the BBB recommends talking to your doctor, or healthcare provider, about your options. If you don't have a primary provider, check with your local health department.
- Ignore calls for immediate action
While there is a great need for the vaccine, experts warn the urgency could cloud your judgment. Experts say scammers often try getting you to act before thinking, don't fall for it.
- Double check the link URL
Scammers will usually include a website link that appears official, but be careful before you click! If the message claims to be from the local government, check its URL. The BBB says official government sites usually end in .gov (USA) or .ca (Canada). If you're still unsure, experts recommend doing a separate internet search for the website.