State officials warn of scams related to coronavirus
Watch out for scams related to the coronavirus disease, state officials say.
These scams include websites selling fake products, along with fabricated emails, texts and social media posts attempting to steal money and personal information.
The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, along with phony information about cases in residents’ neighborhoods. They may also ask for donations to victims, provide advice on unproven treatments or contain damaging attachments.
“While the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 is real, there have been no confirmed cases in Michigan,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Do not fall for these scams. In fact, this is the perfect example of criminals preying on people’s fears. Don’t give a single piece of personal information to anyone reaching out to you regarding coronavirus.”
The Federal Trade Commission has offered the following tips to help avoid scammers:
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations.
- Be alert to “investment opportunities.”
“While the current risk of COVID-19 in the United States is low, we are working with our local and federal partners to make sure our public health system is prepared,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said. “The best way Michiganders can stay healthy is to wash their hands often with soap and water, cover their coughs and sneezes, stay away from people who are sick and stay home if they are not feeling well. For accurate, up-to-date information, visit the CDC’s website or the MDHHS’ webpage.”
Consumers are encouraged to file consumer complaints online with the Michigan Department of Attorney General or call 877-765-8388.