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Press Release

Alaska Attorney General Reminds the Public to Be Aware of Unscrupulous Scams Linked to Covid-19 Situation

March 31, 2020

(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson reminds Alaskans to be vigilant in fending off potential scammers and price gougers trying to take advantage of the Covid-19 situation.

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson says, “The Department of Law, Consumer Protection Unit is aware of phishing scams, telephone and text message scams and hoaxes, and reports of price gauging. Alaskans need to look out for these unethical and unscrupulous practices; Alaska will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of our citizens’ fears and vulnerabilities during this time of global pandemic.”

Some of these scams may involve making false claims to a cure or investment opportunities linked to the pandemic. There may also be scams where the scammer says that you have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19 and they need your personal information. Attorney General Clarkson says, “Be on the lookout for emails asking for the verification of personal data, including Medicare or Medicaid information, in exchange for receiving economic stimulus funds or other benefits from the government. Government agencies are NOT sending out emails asking for residents’ personal information in order to receive funds or other pandemic relief opportunities.” Clarkson warns, “People should be very skeptical of any unexpected calls, texts or emails where you are asked for personal information. Do not give this information out over the phone or to unsolicited emails.”

The Consumer Protection Unit also advises against opening any attachments or links to potentially phony websites, which put your computer at risk for identity theft and access to personal and financial information. Similar to email phishing scams, text messages from unknown sources may offer hyperlinks to what appears to be automated pandemic updates or interactive infection maps. These are examples of ways scammers can install malware on your mobile electronic device, putting you at increased risk for identity theft and financial exploitation.

For more information, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at 907-269-5200 or 1-888-576-2529, or at consumerprotection@alaska.gov, or the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

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Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.