State warns of potential scams relating to coronavirus

Posted at 7:02 AM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 07:02:34-05

The Michigan Attorney General's office and the state Department of Health and Human Services are warning Michiganders about scams related to the coronavirus.

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

The state said the emails and posts may promote awareness and prevention tips along with phony information about cases in peoples' neighborhoods. They may also ask for donatiosn to victims.

“While the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 is real, there have been no confirmed cases in Michigan,” AG Dana Nessel said in a release. “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 you avoid these 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; and
  • 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,” MDHHS Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, added in the release. “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 .”