BOSTON (CBS) — The Better Business Bureau is warning the public about scams involving coronavirus vaccine studies. The scam often starts as an unsolicited text or social media message saying that you qualify for a clinical trial, which will pay you upwards of $1,000.
By clicking on a link from one of these messages, you could be downloading malware onto your computer or phone, giving scammers access to your personal information.
“Don’t be tempted by the opportunity to help scientists while making extra cash. Make sure it’s the real thing before you sign up,” said a statement from the BBB.
Real clinical studies will never ask for bank account information or your government ID.
In order to make sure a trial is legitimate, the BBB recommends trying to find more information on the organization’s website. The National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine monitor ClinicalTrials.gov, which is a free database of clinical studies. Looking up the domain on lookup.icann.org could also reveal a very recent registration date or a registration in a foreign country, both are bad signs. Participants should also never have to pay to be part of a clinical trial.