STATEWIDE - Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a Consumer Alert warning residents not to be fooled by bogus websites offering COVID-19 vaccine appointment reservations for a fee.

According to a release from the AG scammers have been using the popular event website Eventbrite to pose as county health departments and attempt to take payments in exchange for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Several counties in Florida have turned to ticketing services like Eventbrite to help manage appointment scheduling, but no county is charging for vaccine reservations.

“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," said Moody. "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.”

The states, not the federal government are overseeing free COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related scams:

-Know that anyone asking for money in exchange for an appointment is a scam;

-Check with county health departments for local vaccine distribution guidelines;

-Be wary of any website where pop-up ads solicit a vaccine appointment;

-Look for “https” or a padlock icon in the website name to ensure that you are on a secure website

- Report suspicious solicitations or COVID-19 vaccine-related advertisements to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

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