Illinois AG warns against coronavirus scams

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Citizens should beware coronavirus scams, Illinois officials cautioned.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul urged citizens to “exercise caution” before responding to requests for money or personal information in response to COVID-19 claims.

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Scammers posing as charitable organizations or health care agencies have asked for information in the pursuit of combatting the disease, as well as offering bogus tests and products.

“It is absolutely reprehensible that individuals would seek to use the coronavirus public health crisis to defraud the people of Illinoi, and I will not hesitate to use the authority of my office and partnerships… to hold accountable anyone seeking to profit off this pandemic,” Raoul said.

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“It is disheartening that a warning is necessary, but because we know scams are making the rounds, I am urging Illinois residents to be vigilant and report any COVID-19 scams to the Attorney General’s office,” continued the attorney general.

The AG provided a list of possible sources for the scams, including cyber, telephone and text requests for fund raising, as well as online and door-to-door product offers.

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The warning was reiterated today by Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim, particularly regarding the offer of tests. The state’s attorney claimed that, often, a person is asked to pay in cash for the test.

“In most cases, these crimes are preventable by using common sense,” Nerheim said. “People should always be wary of any business, charity, government or individual requesting payments in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards through the mail.”

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Illinois has recently seen a rapid spread of coronavirus, with around 7,600 confirmed cases and 157 deaths.