The DOJ announced a new breed of fraudster taking advantage of individuals who have received the recent COVID-19 vaccine. They do this by enticing individuals to complete a survey post-vaccine, which promises prizes or cash if submitted. In actuality, this scheme is designed to unlawfully gather personal information on these individuals with the purpose of stealing money.
Those who have experienced these scams are often contacted via text message or email and shown enticing products and prizes like electronics and cash. In order to receive these prizes, those who have taken the survey must provide personal information including their credit card information (supposedly for shipping and handling fees). The victims are usually required to provide further personal information to have their prize shipped, but this information is used to make it easier for the scammer to steal the victim’s identity. This is commonly referred to as a phishing scheme.
Phishing messages may look like they come from government agencies, financial intuitions, shipping companies, and social media companies, among many others. Carefully examine any message purporting to be from a company and do not click on a link in an unsolicited email or text message. It is always a good practice to verify links you receive through email and text message before clicking on them, especially if there is any mention of a COVID-19 vaccine survey. In almost all cases these
If you receive a text message or email claiming to be a COVID-19 vaccine survey and containing a link or other contact information, please report the communication to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud. Intellectual property crimes such as these also may be reported to federal law enforcement at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) at http://www.IPRCenter.gov.