Michigan health officials, AG warn consumers about coronavirus scams

Scams are meant to steal money, personal information

CDC now says it is not a matter of if coronavirus will infect more Americans but rather when it will happen
CDC now says it is not a matter of if coronavirus will infect more Americans but rather when it will happen

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are warning residents about coronavirus scams meant to steal money and personal information.

MDHHS warns of texts, social media posts, emails and products being advertised to residents providing false information about the coronavirus. Scams include selling fake products and fabricated emails giving false information about cases in neighborhoods and ask for donations to victims of the disease in Michigan.

“While the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 is real, there have been no confirmed cases in Michigan,” Nessel said in a statement. “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.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS said local and federal partners are working closely to make sure the public health system is prepared for more coronavirus cases in the U.S.

“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.”

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.”

There are currently 57 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., 40 of those cases come from those on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should be concerned about a rise in the number of cases in the U.S.