Alabama officials on Tuesday warned the public not to fall for a new COVID-19 vaccine survey scam that could jeopardize their personal information and take their money.
The Alabama Department of Senior Services in a press release said the department has received reports of a COVID-19 vaccine email scam which asks people to complete a survey to receive a “free award.” The scam survey also asks people to pay a fee to cover shipping, the department said.
“Survey scams like this are a creative way to steal your identity or money. Many survey scams offer a reward and give you a limited time to respond if you want to take the survey,” the department said in the statement. “A legitimate survey will not assign a time limit, nor will they ask for your credit card or bank account information to pay for a reward.”
Those who believe they may have responded to a scam survey, and those who have questions about them, are asked to call the Alabama Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-243-5463.
The U.S. Department of Justice in March warned about similar scam surveys that promised prizes and cash.
“Consumers receive the surveys via email and text message, and are told that, as a gift for filling out the survey, they can choose from various free prizes, such as an iPad Pro. The messages claim that the consumers need only pay shipping and handling fees to receive their prize,” the DOJ said in March. “Victims provide their credit card information and are charged for shipping and handling fees, but never receive the promised prize. Victims also are exposing their personally identifiable information (PII) to scammers, thereby increasing the probability of identity theft.”
Unless from a known and verified source, people should never click on links in text messages or emails claiming to be a vaccine survey, according to the DOJ.