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Better Business Bureau warns of vaccine scams and porch pirates



Scammers do not take a break for the holidays or even in a pandemic.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Wisconsin President and CEO Jim Temmer said the organization is working to get ahead of Coronavirus vaccine scams.

“You’ll be seeing emails or websites promising you can get in the front of the line, or you can get vaccine delivered,” Temmer said. “It is fake. We’ve seen fake CDC websites and World Health Organization websites, you name it. They are just trying to take your money.”

The BBB also has an online scam tracker where people can read about scams or add stories to warn others.

With the Coronavirus continuing into the holidays, more people are shopping online. Temmer said online retail is up 30 percent over last year, but porch pirates could take the convenience out of those options.

“Every single day in the United States, there are about 1.7 million packages either lost or stolen at a value of $25 million,” he said. “A little bit of planning on the front will save yourself a headache on the back end.”

To avoid thefts, he recommended shipping the package to a neighbor or friend who will be home if that is an option. Otherwise, many employers allow packages to be shipped to the workplace. A signature request from the shipping service may cost additional money, but it would guarantee the item is delivered to a person. Otherwise, most shipping companies have secure areas in stores or central locations where the packages can be held.

“If it is something really expensive, it might be worth a little inconvenience for you to go pick it up rather than have it stolen,” Temmer said.

He added with the increase in packages during the holidays, delivery drivers are often taxed for time and may not provide the same personal service without request that they normally do.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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