FBI, FDA warn about COVID-19 vaccination and treatment scams

The FBI, FDA, and Better Business Bureau are warning you about a series of COVID-19 vaccine and treatment scams going around. 

"This is the number one thing we're watching right now, COVID scams from fake cures to offering you things like fake products," said Jennifer Salazar with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB and the FBI warn you to watch out for text messages, emails, and phone calls offering to put you on a list to get the vaccine sooner, or to ship the vaccine to your home, for a fee. The CDC issued the vaccination schedule and paying a fee will not help you jump the line. 

"You don't pay money to put your name on a list to receive the vaccine. Also, you need to be mindful of phone calls offering you the vaccine in exchange for your Medicare number, your Social Security number, or your credit card number," said Salazar.


The COVID-19 vaccines are free and are only distributed to medical centers and pharmacies. They say anyone selling it is a fraud. And don't give your personal information to anyone contacting you, claiming to be with a vaccination site, health department, or insurance company. 

"Like your Social Security number. You can commit identity theft with that, you can take a job with that. Your Medicare number. Your Medicare number is worth $30,000. Or your insurance, they can go bill your insurance," explained Salazar.

You can find the list of products the FDA sent warning letters here.

Florida officials are warning seniors that some Eventbrite sites have been posing as Health Departments, charging money for fake vaccination appointments.  Health departments there are sending tweets, reading, "You should NOT be charged to register. Registration is FREE."    

Meantime, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have issued warning letters and to companies selling products that they say make false claims about curing, treating or preventing COVID-19, including teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver. 

"The FDA sent out multiple letters not long ago warning companies to take these miracle cures off the market.  For example, IV's with vitamin C to cure the coronavirus, or essential oils to cure the coronavirus," said Salazar.

The FBI offers more tips to protect yourself from COVID-related scams here.