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Attorney general, Michigan health department warn Michiganders of COVID-19 virus online scam

The scammers are selling fake products on websites related to the virus that causes COVID-19 and are using social media posts to "steal" money.

LANSING, Mich. — Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are warning Michiganders about online scams involving the COVID-19 virus in Michigan. 

Scammers are utilizing websites and social media to spread misinformation about the threat of the virus that causes COVID-19 and ask for money to donate to victims in Michigan. However, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID in Michigan.

The Michigan health department said Saturday there are 325 people in the state who are being monitored for the virus.  

RELATED: 325 people in Michigan being monitored for coronavirus

Nessel acknowledges that the threat of the disease is real, however, she urges people not to 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," she said in a press release. 

The scammers are selling fake products on websites related to the virus that causes COVID-19 and are using social media posts to "steal" money and personal information, according to the press release. 

The Federal Trade Commission offers four tips on how to avoid the 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 or experts saying they have information about the virus;
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations; and
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.”

Nessel's office urges people who believe they have been targeted in these scams to file a consumer complaint online with the Michigan Department of Attorney General or call 877-765-8388. 

The chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan health department said that he and his department are working with local and federal partners to make sure Michigan's public health system is prepared. 

He recommends that Michiganders take the necessary precautions to stay healthy during the threat of the disease.

"...wash [your] hands often with soap and water, cover [your] coughs and sneezes, stay away from people who are sick and stay home if [you] are not feeling well," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. 

RELATED: Peters: US needs 'second layer of defense' at border for coronavirus

RELATED: Economic expert on the impact the coronavirus has on West Michigan

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, runny nose, cough and breathing trouble. 

For up-to-date information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website


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