BBB warns of old survey scam with new COVID-19 twist

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 11:45 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Better Business Bureau is warning Americans about an old survey scam that has a new COVID-19 twist.

The Better Business Bureau says if you et an email or text that claims to be from Pfizer or another COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, it could be a scam. It said in some versions of an old survey scam emerging with a new twist, the message claims that a resident will get money or a free product for completing a quick survey about approved COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the BBB, survey scams employ a variety of tricks to gather personal information. It said the link may lead to a real survey, which prompts you to sign up for a free trial offer upon completion. It said victims reported to its Scam Tracker that they entered credit card information to pay for what they were told was shipping fees. Instead, it said the scammers billed them many times over and never sent the product. In other versions, it said the form is a phishing scam that asks for banking and credit card information.

The Bureau said just because a scammer impersonates Pfizer does not mean that other vaccine providers are off the hook. It said Americans should be wary of variations of the scam that claim to be from Johnson & Johnson or Moderna as well.

In general, the BBB said it is best to not click links that come in unsolicited emails. It said the following are tips on ways to spot a malicious email, just in case your spam filter does not catch it:

  • The email claims to have information about you, but you never signed up for it. Scams often pretend to be personalized for a specific resident but are actually blast emails. If you never signed up for emails from a company, you should not be receiving them.
  • Pushes you to act immediately. Scammers try to push residents into action before they have had time to think. Always be aware of emails that urge you to act immediately or face a consequence.
  • Watch for typos, strange phrasing and bad grammar. Scammers easily copy a brand’s name, but awkward wording and poor grammar are usually a sign that the message is a scam. For example, one version of the survey scam impersonates Pfizer and uses the wrong company logo.
  • Hover over URLs to show their real destination. Sometimes, the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will point to somewhere else. Make sure the links lead to the business’s official website and not a variation of the domain name.

To make a report to the BBB Scam Tracker, click HERE.

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