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State officials warn of coronavirus scams

Posted at 10:43 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 10:45:29-05

LANSING, Mich. — The state’s health department and attorney general’s office are warning of scams related to coronavirus.

Scams include websites selling fake products, fabricated emails, texts and social media posts created to steal money and personal information. Emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips with fake cases in neighborhoods. Some ask for donations to victims, give advice on unproven treatments or have damaging attachments.

The Federal Trade Commission advises people to avoid clicking on links from sources they don’t know, watch for emails claiming to be from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert, and to ignore online offers for vaccinations.

People who text or email asking for personal or financial information should be treated as potential thieves, state officials say.

Anyone who receives a scam message is encouraged to file a complaint with the attorney general’s office online or by calling 877-765-8388.

CDC officials said Tuesday it is only a matter of time before COVID-19 will spread in the United States and health agencies are preparing for that possibility. In Michigan, over 300 people are being monitored for the disease, but there have been no confirmed cases at this point.