Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Scammers love to play on people’s desire to do the right thing and help others. And, right now, scammers are targeting people who want to help the fight against COVID-19. So, if you have been thinking about signing up for a COVID vaccine clinical trial, read on. Here is everything you need to know about the fake COVID vaccine trial scam.
What is a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial?
Scientists all around the world have been searching for a COVID-19 vaccine. But what might surprise you is that developing a vaccine is not the tricky part. What takes the time is all the clinical trials needed to prove a vaccine is safe and effective on humans.
It would usually take years to prove the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine. And, 90% of vaccines do not pass the vigorous clinical test requirements. But, because of the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis, scientists are attempting to have a vaccine approved for use on the general population in only eighteen months.
The urgent need for a COVID-19 vaccine has led to thousands of vaccines being tested. So, there have been lots of calls for people to participate in clinical trials. Unfortunately, the high volume of genuine COVID-19 clinical trials has made it easier for scammers to trick people into signing up for fake COVID-19 vaccine trials.
How Does a Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Scam Work?
The scammers use their favorite tools of fake websites, phishing emails, and robocalls to extract money or information from people. You might be contacted with the promise of payment in return for your participation in a COVID-19 clinical trial. It i spossible that you will stumble upon a fake website when you are searching for a genuine research project. You will find that scammers will push the fact that you will be helping people worldwide by taking part in a clinical trial. But there is no trial. What the scammers want is your cash or personal details.
How to Spot a Fake COVID-19 Clinical Trial
Souce: Federal Trade Commission.
If you apply to participate in a COVID-19 trial, you may get asked for some personal details. However, if you are asked to pay a fee or divulge information like your social security number or bank account details, the alarm bells should be ringing. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting scammed by a fake COVID clinical trial.
Do Not Pay to Participate in a Clinical Trial
You will not be expected to pay to participate in a genuine clinical trial. Pharmaceutical companies and research establishments are looking for volunteers and will be grateful for your participation. It is more likely that you will be paid to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial.
Legitimate Trials Will Not Ask for Your Social Security Number
You will be asked some personal questions when you apply to participate in a clinical trial. The things you are likely to be asked include your age, ethnicity, your contact details, and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. A genuine COVID clinical trial, though, will not need your social security number.
Do Not Divulge Confidential Financial Information
You could be offered up to $2,500 to participate in a COVOD-19 clinical trial. However, if you are offered payment, it would be best to ask to be paid by check. You should not be required to submit your bank details as a prerequisite for taking part in a trial.
Do Your Research
Research online to see if anyone has flagged the trial you are thinking about taking part in as a scam. You can also search for legitimate programs on ClinicalTrials.Gov, which is a free-to-use database of clinical trials.
How to Find Genuine COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials
If you are interested in taking part in a COVID-19 clinical trial, visit the COVID-19 Prevention Network. The COVID-19 Prevention Network is an organization funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
Report Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials
Remember, you will not be asked to pay to join a genuine clinical trial, and you will not be asked for your social security number. If you do come across a fake COVID-19 vaccine trial scam, please do report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Fake COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are merely the latest way that scammers are tricking people. There are no depths to which these people will not sink. Even at a time of a global crisis, criminals are making money with coronavirus scams. So, stay vigilant and be on constant alert. And, if you discover a scam, report it so that other people do not get caught out.
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