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AG Nessel, MDHHS warn against coronavirus scams

Posted at 5:20 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 05:20:49-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is warning Michigan residents to watch for scams related to the coronavirus disease 2019.

Nessel's office said the scams include websites selling fake products, fabricated emails, texts and social media posts used to steal money and personal information.

The Attorney General's office said the emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips along with fake information about cases in residents' neighborhoods and, in addition, may 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,” said Nessel. “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 says to avoid these scams by doing the following:
• 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,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “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.

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