GREENSBORO, N.C. — You look down and read the message on your phone:
Local COVID-19 study. Compensation up to $1,200. Qualify here.
There are indeed local COVID-19 studies and some do pay but this text is fake, even though it looks so very real.
“It's very believable, scammers are tapping into three desires. One, we all want a vaccine. Two, we want to help science get there and three, we all want a little extra cash right now,” said Lechelle Yates of the Better Business Bureau.
This type of message might come by text, email, maybe a message on social media and if you click on the link, it might take you to a legit-looking study page where they might ask you for your social security number for your bank account, which again may seem OK.
“Because of course, they need your bank account if they're going to put money in which we all know they're not going to be putting money in. They're going to be taking money out,” said Yates.
Of course, you also take a chance in clicking a link and putting malware on your computer. Malware can search your computer for usernames and passwords to get into your accounts.
If you get one of these messages and you're thinking, ‘I want to cash in on this’ or ‘is this real’ we have a solution for you.
Check it out ClinicalTrials.gov can show you the listed studies to see if the study texting you is listed or you can fill out the info and find a study.