Minnesota – Watch out for Covid-19 Clinical Trial Scam Email
Everyone is excited about the Covid-19 vaccine news released by Pfizer - that in early tests, their vaccine was 90% effective.
Early Monday morning, drugmaker Pfizer announced that their COVID-19 vaccine trial has shown to be 90% effective in early testing. The company filed for Emergency Use Authorization with the FDA Monday.
"This is about the best the news could possibly be for the world and for the United States and for public health," Senior Vice President for Vaccine Clinical Research for Pfizer William Gruber told Bloomberg. (Keep reading by clicking here.)
According to the FTC, "There are thousands of trials underway as companies race to find effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Many of these research studies are legitimate, but some are not." And that means, you want to be able to spot the fakes that just want your money and personal information.
Preying on our natural desire to help others, scammers have created fake websites and promotional materials, posing as legitimate researchers...They might promise you a doctor’s care and more than $1000 in payment...but as soon as they try to charge you for access, or ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number, your Spidey sense should start tingling, because, unfortunately, some of these so-called “research studies” are fake. (Source)
What do you need to know?
- First, no legitimate clinical trial will ask you to pay them. Like NEVER.
- Second, they're not asking for money? OK, search the name of the clinical trial and include scam, review, complaints, or even "sucks" and see what comes up.
- The real deal clinical trials do collect personal info, BUT...no social security info.
- If they say, "Oh, we'll pay you, just give us your routing info!" say nope...get a check. Sharing that info will mess you up good, plus, if they're legit, they'll have no problem with paying by check. What's the normal pay? The FTC says between $1,000-$2,500, particularly in Phase III of vaccine trials.
- And the biggie - check ClinicalTrials.Gov, a free searchable database of clinical studies on a wide range of diseases (this isn't just for finding scammers, they have a ton of info, especially if you're looking to be part of a clinical trial).
If you want to be involved specifically in a Covid-19 trial, click HERE (it's run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health).
And finally, report any scams you encounter to your state's attorney general by clicking here: consumerresources.org.
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