The U.S. Department of Justice is warning consumers about fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine surveys.
The fraudulent emails and texts promise prizes or cash at the conclusion of the survey, but the real purpose is to steal money and capture personal information from victims, the DOJ says.
The phishing message inform consumers that they can choose an iPad Pro or other prizes, and that they only have to pay shipping and handling.
Thus deceived, victims provide their credit-card numbers and are duly charged for the shipping and handling, but never receive the prizes. In addition, they face probable identity theft after supplying the personally identifiable information (PII).
The DOJ advises consumers to never click on links in texts or emails that claim to be a vaccine survey, or in any unsolicited email or text.
In particular, they should not click on messages pretending to be a COVID-19 survey unless they are from a verified source.
It also urges them to report the communication to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF).
The DOJ also warns that such messages may look like they come from a government agency, financial institution, shipping company or social media network.
It also explains that companies usually do not contact consumers to ask for a person’s user name or password.