Please be alert for possible scams related to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can take these steps to help protect yourself and your loved ones from scams.
The Federal Trade Commission offers these guidelines:
Ignore products that claim to vaccinate, cure, or offer at-home tests for COVID-19. They do not exist.
Hang up on robocalls. Any important call from the IRS, your bank, or other service providers will be from a live person or by mail.
Watch out for phishing emails or text messages, especially those that come from email accounts or numbers that you don't recognize.
Research before you donate. You can look up an organization with the FTC to check for reported scams here.
The Illinois Attorney General share this specific guidance based on reported scams:
Do not purchase any product promoted online on social media or via email that is being touted as a cure to COVID-19.
If you get a call purporting to be from Social Security and claiming there's a problem with your Social Security account, hang up. If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail a letter.
Beware of phone calls and text messages falsely claiming that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is inviting people to collect $1,000 from an aid program that doesn’t yet exist.
Beware of websites with ads promising $100 Starbucks gift cards as an apology for closing shops.
Look out for calls offering air duct cleaning services as a way to stop the coronavirus.
If you are worried you have been a victim of a scam or have information about suspected fraud, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 or visit www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.