LAFAYETTE, La. — The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is warning residents about receiving a text with a survey claiming to be from pharmaceutical company Pfizer with questions about their COVID-19 vaccine, which is likely a scam.
According to BBB, residents receive an email or text message claiming to be from Pfizer, which is one of the pharmaceutical companies producing a COVID-19 vaccine.
In some versions of the scam, the message claims that you will receive money for completing a quick survey, while other versions offer a "free" product.
BBB says these survey scams have a variety of tricks as the link may lead to a real survey, which upon completion, prompts you to sign up for a "free trial offer."
According to BBB, victims reported to BBB Scam Tracker that they entered their credit card information to pay what they thought was a shipping fee. Instead, the scammers billed them many times more and never sent the product.
In other versions, BBB says the form is actually a phishing scam that requests banking and credit card information.
BBB warns residents to watch out for variations of the scam claiming to be from other pharmaceutical companies such as Janssen and Moderna.
BBB offers the following tips to recognize and avoid this and similar scams:
- In general, it's best not to click on links that come in unsolicited texts and emails. They are often malicious and will cause financial harm to those who click on them.
- Avoid unsolicited emails that claim to have private consumer information. Scams often pretend to be personalized but are actually blast emails. If you never signed up for emails from a company, you should not be receiving them.
- Do not be pressured to act quickly. Scammers typically try to push you into action before you have had time to think. Always be wary of emails urging you to act immediately or face a consequence.
- Watch for typos, strange phrasing and bad grammar. Scammers can easily copy a brand's name but awkward wording and poor grammar are typically a giveaway of a scam. For example, one version of the survey scam impersonating Pfizer uses the wrong company logo.
- Hover over URLs to reveal their true destination. Typically, the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will point somewhere else. Make sure the links actually lead to the business' official website, not a variation of the domain name.
Residents can report potential scams to the BBB Scam Tracker here.
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