FTC warns of 'vaccine survey' scams, because people are the worst


There is not any good factor that scammers will not attempt to break.

The Federal Commerce Fee issued a warning Wednesday that unscrupulous actors are preying upon the newly vaccinated, trying to trick these within the throes of post-jab pleasure out of their money.

"Full this brief 30-second survey about your expertise with Moderna COVID-19 VACCINE to pick certainly one of our unique reward presents (minimal worth $90)," reads one such rip-off highlighted by the FTC. 

Whereas the specifics of the vaccine-related scams could differ, the broad particulars are the identical. Potential victims are requested to take a survey about their shot expertise, and are promised a present in alternate for doing so. In fact, they solely should pay a small delivery payment first. 

"Folks throughout the nation are reporting getting emails and texts out of the blue, asking them to finish a limited-time survey concerning the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine," explains the FTC. "(And little doubt, there could also be one for Johnson & Johnson, too.) In alternate, persons are supplied a free reward, however requested to pay delivery charges."

Presumably, that is when would-be victims are requested to fork over their bank card quantity.

This follows on earlier warnings in Could of 2020, also from the FTC, about contact-tracing scams that concerned tricking folks into clicking spam hyperlinks despatched by way of textual content message. The continuing drawback of coronavirus-themed scams is so unhealthy, Google has created a COVID-19-specific section on its Rip-off Spotter web site to assist educate folks on the principle forms of COVID-related scams.

WATCH: The best way to acknowledge and keep away from pretend information

"No official surveys ask on your bank card or checking account quantity to pay for a 'free' reward," the FTC helpfully reminds customers. 

Sadly, if a number of the feedback on the FTC website are to be believed, this warning cannot come quickly sufficient.  

"I obtained [the survey] final week together with the critiques from different 'folks' about how fantastic the presents have been," reads one reply to the FTC's warning from March 24. "After I put my data in it mentioned 'Buyer is blacklisted' or one thing like that. I went again and deleted all my data however I wager now it was to [sic] late." 

Publish-vaccine survey scams are simply certainly one of many forms of COVID-adjacent fraud highlighted by the FTC. The fee has an entire website devoted to educating customers concerning the methods criminals are trying to separate them from their money amid a (nonetheless) ongoing pandemic.

SEE ALSO: How to make your smart TV a little dumb (and why you should)

Should you suppose you've got acquired a probably fraudulent textual content message or electronic mail a couple of post-vaccine survey, your greatest wager is to not open it. Should you've already opened it and are questioning what to do, don't click on on any hyperlinks the message incorporates. They might level your telephone or pc to malware. 

As an alternative, delete the message — and relaxation simple understanding that you just each prevented a rip-off and, hopefully, obtained your vaccine. 


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