The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) noted that COVID-19 scams include “Anti-COVID-19” products and medicines and home test kits. (Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash)

COVID-19 scams: Here’s what Bronxites need to know

As New York City ramps up efforts to get more people vaccinated from the COVID-19 pandemic, officials are warning about spam calls that may be putting individuals who are unclear about the vaccination process at risk.

During a recent Community Board 2 meeting, District Manager Ralph Acevedo said he’s been hearing about scam calls to residents that claim to set up a vaccination appointment in an attempt to steal personal information.

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) noted that COVID-19 scams include “Anti-COVID-19” products and medicines and home test kits.

Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has warned about robocalls focused on health and financial concerns related to COVID-19, and fraudsters trying to steal insurance information or money, as other scams to be aware of.

New Yorkers are reminded not to act on such offers, as they may be dangerous and fatal, according to the city consumer protection agency. In the event of a scam call, the agency suggested reporting any online offers to the Federal Trade Commission.

If someone comes to your home claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization or NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the city agency recommends calling 911.

The FCC reminds everyone to not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers and to never share personal or financial information via email, text messages or over the phone. A full list of tips on how to avoid COVID-19 scams can be found here.

“No one out of the blue is going to call you about vaccinations and then ask for your vital information,” said Acevedo. “Please be mindful of that.”

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