BBB warns of COVID clinical study scams

Posted at 7:09 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 12:20:07-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Better Business Bureau is warning of phony clinical studies, urging people to make sure it’s the real thing before you sign up.

According to BBB, scammers are sending messages via text, email, or even social media.

But, no matter how curious you are or how much you could use some extra cash, experts say don’t click it, It’s a scam.

The phony message includes a link to see whether or not you qualify for the study.

If you click it, you could unknowingly download malware onto your computer or phone.

This virus can give scammers access to your usernames, passwords, and other personal information stored on your computer.

In other cases, the link may take you to a website that looks like a real clinical trial.

Here are some tips from the better business bureau to avoid getting scammed:

  1. Look up the domain: look for warning signs such as a very recent registration date or registration in a foreign country
  2. If you think the trial is real, go directly to the organization’s website for further information.
  3. Never pay to be part of a clinical trial; real clinical trials will never ask you to pay them.
  4. Legitimate clinical trials will ask you for some information, but not financial information like bank account details.

​The Better Business Bureau reports seeing scams advertising to pay an upward of 1,200 dollars.

Read more about clinic trial scams on the Federal Trade Commission website.

To learn more about scams related to COVID-19, click here.