Author Archives: Customer Care

COVID-19 vaccines are in the pipeline. Scammers won’t be far behind.

Here’s what we know right now: Two vaccine manufacturers (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) have submitted applications for Emergency Use Authorization to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA could complete its review of these applications by the third or fourth week of December 2020. Additional vaccine manufacturers are expected to apply for FDA authorization in 2021. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent group of experts convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has already recommended that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should receive the first available doses. As additional data is available, more vaccines are authorized by the FDA, and vaccine production increases, ACIP will continue to update its recommendations.

Once the FDA authorizes one or more vaccines from pharmaceutical manufacturers, vaccines will be distributed to federal- and state-approved locations. For most people living in the U.S., states and territories will make the final decisions on who will get the vaccines and when. States are also working on their own specific vaccination plans. You may want to check with your state for specific information regarding distribution plans in your state. More information on where and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be available once vaccines are authorized and/or being shipped out.

While we wait for a timeline and more information, there’s no doubt scammers will be scheming. Here’s what you need to know to avoid a vaccine-related scam:

  • You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
  • You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
  • Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.

If you get a call, text, email — or even someone knocking on your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, STOP. That’s a scam. Don’t pay for a promise of vaccine access or share personal information. Instead, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or file a complaint with your state or territory attorney general through consumerresources.org, the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Stay connected to stay informed. Subscribe to consumer alerts from the  FTC.  When you do, you’ll get updates delivered right to your email inbox. You may also want to check your state or territory attorney general’s website for consumer alerts and other helpful information.

Three Ways to Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

Information provided by

Colleen Tressler
Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure

Protecting your personal information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. There are four main ways to do it: know who you share information with; store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security number; ask questions before deciding to share your personal information; and maintain appropriate security on your computers… Continue Reading

The road to the Stanley Cup continues

In a normal year, early September is when the excitement level hockey fans feel around the world begins ratchet up. This year, however, eagerness to watch hockey in September is not just in anticipation of a few preseason games and the upcoming nine-month schedule. We are currently nearing the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs… Continue Reading

Bundle Wi-Fi+, Internet Security, PC Support and save big

With people sheltering and working at home, a secure and reliable internet is more important than ever. Enjoy smarter whole-home Wi-Fi experience with TDS® Wi-Fi+. The new TDS Wi-Fi+ service, available to most residential internet customers, provides a strong Wi-Fi signal on all connected devices. Using mesh network technology from eero, TDS Wi-Fi+ minimizes dead zones, slow downloads,… Continue Reading

6 ways to not overspend on school supplies

The 2020-21 school year is nearly upon us! With uncertainty regarding what, exactly, the school year will look like, parents across the country are in a precarious position with the back to school shopping season already here. In fact, a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) explains that consumers are tentatively planning to spend… Continue Reading

BendBroadband launches new virtual tech visit tool

Customers get essential service support without an in-home visit Bend, Oregon (April 27, 2020)—BendBroadband is launching an important new safety tool to help provide remote, real-time customer support. Starting today, BendBroadband technicians can perform installations and help troubleshoot service-related issues without ever having to make an in-home or in-business visit. “The coronavirus pandemic has made… Continue Reading

Five online resources to stay active at home

National policies regarding the COVID-19 virus continue to change. Recently, the Safer at Home Order has closed nonessential business and restricted residents in enforcing areas to stay indoors with exceptions for activities like exercise, grocery shopping, and dog walking. With the closure of gyms and apartment fitness centers, many are seeking out alternatives. Here are five… Continue Reading