Forbes (1/5, Ray) reports “scammers posing as local Florida health departments used the event management platform Eventbrite to charge money from unsuspecting seniors for fake coronavirus vaccination appointments, as multiple counties in the state used the platform to schedule inoculations despite concerns about its limitations.” Multiple “health departments in Florida are using Eventbrite to schedule vaccinations for people over the age of 65 as mandated by Gov. Ron DeSantis, with some arguing that it is the easiest way to get the process up and running quickly during the initial phase, the Verge reported.” However, “on Monday, fake Eventbrite pages for the health departments from Pasco and Pinellas counties were put up that charged money to sign up for the appointments, the Tampa Bay Times reported.”
The Hill (1/5, Castronuovo) reports that “according to Pasco County health department spokesperson Melissa Watts, some seniors have recently arrived at vaccination centers in the county claiming to have appointments, only to find out their reservation was fraudulent, the Tampa Bay Times reported.” The Eventbrite sites “reportedly charged people to schedule appointments, prompting officials in both Pasco and Pinellas counties to notify residents that there is no cost to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.”
The New York Post (1/5, Frishberg) reports “the Florida counties of Collier, Manatee, Monroe, Volusia...Sarasota and Seminole are also using Eventbrite to vaccinate the initial wave of recipients, Vice reported.” A registration ticket from Eventbrite, “valid identification and a completed Department of Health vaccine consent form are all that’s required upon arrival at appointments – sparking fears that scalpers will book and sell slots, as they’re known to do with countless other, less future-of-humanity-impacting ticketed happenings.”
Vox (1/5, Morrison) also reports on the story.