LANSING, MI – As more and more of us who live in Michigan get vaccinated against the COVID pandemic, there are more and more of those who want to get our personal information and cause great trouble to our lives by financial means. The latest are scams offering a reward in exchange for your personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), in collaboration with a number of other federal agencies, recently issued alerts to the public due to an increasing number of victims receiving email and/or text messages after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. In the messages, people are prompted to participate in a fraudulent post-vaccine survey with the promise of cash or a prize upon completion. The bogus surveys are reportedly asking victims to pay for shipping and handling in order to receive a prize that is never delivered.
“Scammers continue to find ways to steal personal information and although many who have received the COVID vaccine have a sense of pride, it is crucial that people avoid sharing their vaccination cards for this exact reason,” said Nessel. “Bad actors are resourceful and with any piece of personally identifiable information, they will work hard to find out more about you. If you do receive a suspicious email or text, remember to never click on any unsolicited links or attachments, and also remember that no legitimate surveys will ever ask for your credit card or bank account number to pay for a ‘free’ reward.” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
- No post-vaccine surveys are being conducted by Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
- Any emails or text messages that purport to be sent on behalf of these companies seeking personal financial information are illegitimate and fraudulent as these companies would never request an advanced payment for shipping or other expenses.
- DO NOT open any messages or click on any links or attachments.
- NEVER give out bank account, credit card, or personal information.
Michiganders can also:
- Report smishing – fraudulent – text messages to 7726 (SPAM) for investigation.
- Filter unwanted text messages through your wireless provider or with a call-blocking app.
As always, your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. A library of consumer alerts and additional resources are available 24/7 by clicking here. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or by calling 877-765-8388.