No, you don’t have to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine
The creators were arrested and accused of trying to sell the vaccine for $30 a dose. So, here’s what to know and watch out for: You don’t have to pay for the vaccine. “If anyone is asking you to pay either to book an appointment or to get the actual vaccine, it’s a scam,” Rosato said. “Getting the shot is free, and you can’t buy it anywhere.”Consumers should also not be charged directly for vaccine administration. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay a vaccine administration fee.
Youngest adults, not grandma, most at risk for scams, BBB finds
SAN ANTONIO – If you think trusting grandmas are the typical scam targets nowadays, think again. The BBB’s Scam Tracker risk report showed a significant shift last year. The report showed the youngest adults may be tech savvy, but in 2020, they let their guard down scrolling through social media, apps and websites. As a result, more than 38% of the BBB scam reports for 2020 involved online purchases. The biggest spikes in sinister sales involved PPE and even pets as people looked for companionship.
FEMA warns of hotel scam for people looking for shelter during Texas freeze
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO – The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Thursday morning there is a scam circulating about hotel room assistance for Texans looking for shelter from freezing temperatures. The FEMA Region 6 Twitter account posted there is a false phone number being shared with a message about FEMA paying for hotels for Texas Disaster Relief. Staging Management Team Atlanta is scheduled to arrive in Texas on Thursday to give additional support to the state. FEMA said the best information on legitimate sources of help in your area will come from local officials and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. AdThe TDEM has a list of agencies that are providing aid throughout the state and a list of warming centers.
Romance scammers stealing hearts, savings of the innocent
“Scammers are using social media, dating apps, legit dating apps and websites to reach victims,” said Jason Meza, regional director for the Better Business Bureau. Last year, the FBI said it received reports of more than 23,700 victims of romance scams. “(Scammers) say all the right things and make all the right moves,” Meza said. “A big red flag in these types of scams is people looking to build relationships quickly, moving fast and professing deep love very quickly,” Meza said. These scams can be reported to the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, and the BBB, possibly protecting someone else from a bad romance.
Watch out for romance scams this Valentine’s Day, FBI warns
SAN ANTONIO – While love is definitely in the air around Valentine’s Day, residents need to watch out for offers for love online. FBI officials in San Antonio are issuing a warning about the rise in romance scams this time of the year, especially since more people are working from home and spending more time online. According to the FBI, 23,768 people in 2020 fell victims to romance scams with a reported loss of approximately $605,120,598. Romance scams occur when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust and uses the illusion of a romantic or close relationship to manipulate and/or steal from the victim, FBI officials said. The FBI has provided more information about how to keep safe from romance scams on its website.
New Braunfels police warn of active fraud scam
Buyer beware: scammers are on the hunt this holiday seasonNEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The New Braunfels Police Department says they are investigating two cases of fraud in the area where victims say they received phone calls from scammers claiming to be law enforcement officials. According to police, the scammers were able to convince the New Braunfels victims to give them money. The department said the two recent cases involved victims who were in their 40′s and 50′s. To learn more about the types of fraud that you could face, visit the FBI’s Common Fraud Schemes website. Related: Bexar County residents are being targeted in Paypal scam, District Attorney says
Bexar County residents are being targeted in Paypal scam, District Attorney says
SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Wednesday announced that area residents are being targeted in a Paypal scam. Scammers are calling Bexar County residents claiming that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and that they must immediately send payment via Paypal, Gonzales said. It has come to the attention of the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney's Office that scam artists are calling Bexar County residents claiming that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and they must immediately send payment via Paypal. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/3CphAq0upm — Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales (@BexarCountyDA) February 3, 2021According to Gonzales, even though the callers can sound convincing, the calls are fake. Related: Beware of Bexar County jury duty scam making the rounds again
Don’t post a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card on social media, BBB warns
Just make sure not to share an image of your vaccination card on social media, the Better Business Bureau says. Up your security settings on social media: Be sure to check your privacy and security settings on your social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Be wary of what you post, even if it’s trending: Sharing your vaccine photo is one of the latest trends on social media. For more information from the BBB on how to safely share your COVID-19 vaccine news on social media, click here. AdRELATED: Social media is a breeding ground for scams during COVID-19 crisis, FTC says
Beware of Bexar County jury duty scam making the rounds again
SAN ANTONIO – Despite a moratorium on jury service with no in-person jury trials being held, scam artists are trying to take advantage of the way the jury service system currently operates. Bexar County Administrative Judge Ron Rangel said jury summons are only being sent for grand jury service and for one virtual trial per week. So, if you get a call from someone claiming to be from Bexar County Jury Services who wants money, hang up the telephone. Scam artists are once again calling residents claiming they have missed jury duty and therefore have an outstanding warrant for their arrest, Rangel said. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office issued a similar warning last week about a similar scam.
Bexar County residents being targeted in another phone scam, BSCO warns
BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about a new phone scam. Scammers claiming to be with the sheriff’s office are cold calling residents and telling them that there is a federal warrant out their arrest for skipping out on jury duty. ⚠️SCAM ALERT-PLEASE SHARE⚠️ The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has received multiple calls from Bexar County residents... Posted by Bexar County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, January 19, 2021BCSO officials said they do not take payments over the phone and do not accept payments in exchange for avoiding arrest. They are also reminding residents that BCSO officials will never request residents to purchase a gift card for any reason. If you receive one of these scam phone calls, please contact BCSO officials immediately at (210)335-6000.
View that offer to buy early access to COVID-19 vaccine with big dose of skepticism
SAN ANTONIO – As millions anxiously await their turns for the COVID-19 vaccine, and with many frustrated by more demand than early supply, scammers are already taking advantage, federal agencies and consumer advocates warn. The BBB, along with several federal agencies are warning about emails, text messages, phone calls and social media posts offering early access to the vaccine in exchange for some sort of payment. The state of Texas has a vaccine rollout plan based on who needs the vaccine’s protection most coming first. If you receive an unsolicited offer regarding vaccine, the BBB suggests you do your research by starting with your doctor and relying on known, reliable sources. Related Stories:Texas health official explains issues that may distort how many vaccine doses are actually available31 San Antonio clinics, hospitals to get hundreds of COVID-19 vaccines this weekUniversity Health begins administering COVID-19 vaccines to seniors in next phase of rollout
Impostor calls, Secret Sister Gift Exchange could scrooge your holiday
SAN ANTONIO – As holiday shoppers log on to Amazon in record numbers, scammers are stealing the moment - and maybe more. In the Amazon version, the caller says there is some sort of problem with a purchase. In the Apple version, the caller says the person’s iCloud account has been breached and they shouldn’t use any Apple device until the suspicious activity is addressed. The Secret Sister or Secret Santa Gift Exchange is another scheme making the holiday rounds on social media, one that’s illegal, the Better Business Bureau warns. “It’s a very fun pay-it-forward kind of scenario ... but the gift exchange quickly becomes something where it becomes illegal.
Online predators take advantage of people during the holidays, FBI warns
SAN ANTONIO – ‘Tis the season for giving, and local FBI special agents say online predators are ready to take advantage of unsuspecting people. “We really have kind of a perfect storm in front of us,” said FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee. As consumers shop online for holiday gifts, Lee warns about websites offering fake deals. When you get an alleged deal in the form of a text or email, Lee said if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. “Families being apart and maybe having lost loved ones due to COVID and being lonely and looking for companionship online,” Lee said.
How to avoid open enrollment health care scams
SAN ANTONIO – Open enrollment is a time when many can sign up for vital health care through their employers or the health insurance marketplace. This year, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, and the Medicare open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. One scam the BBB is warning about involves a caller claiming to be a “health care benefits advocate” or a similar title. Beware of dishonest health care brokers who offer “free health care screenings,” as this could be a way to weed out less healthy people. If you feel a call is a scam, hang up and visit the health care website yourself or directly call your health care provider.
This payment app scam can drain your bank account in seconds
But if you’re not careful, you could fall for a scam that could drain your bank account in seconds. When she couldn’t find a phone number for Cash App on the app, she Googled it. “So, I went to my bank account and he was saying, 'Ma’am, you need to stay on Cash App. Cash App responseCash App is aware of the scam and says you should only contact them through its app or website. If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, you should contact Cash App support through the app or website immediately.
Did you get a text about a package you werent expecting? Its likely a scam
A popular tactic by scammers has triggered an alert from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The newest scam uses text messages that include false package delivery notices and a fraudulent link that will request credit card and personal information. The messages claim a package is pending delivery and requests recipients to claim ownership," according to the alert. If you receive a suspicious text message, the alert advises you to take the following steps:Do not click on any links. Unsolicited text messages, particularly those containing unfamiliar links or purporting to come from a company you have not contacted first, should always be treated with caution, according to the alert.
Don’t fall for it: Army Recruiting says military draft texts aren’t real
Just a heads up: The U.S. Army is not sending out text messages to tell people they’ve been chosen for a military draft, officials from Recruiting Command said Wednesday. Even if there were a draft, it’s not a decision made by U.S. Army Recruiting Command. The Selective Service System, a separate agency outside of the Department of Defense, is the organization that manages registration for the Selective Service, officials said. The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual. Registering for the Selective Service does not enlist you into the military.