FRANKFORT – Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Gov. Andy Beshear issued a scam alert Friday warning Kentuckians of potential consumer scams related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

To profit from consumer health concerns, online scammers may set up fake websites, send emails or texts, or post on social media to sell fake products that claim to cure or prevent COVID-19.

Scammers may ask consumers to contact them or provide personal information to receive updates about COVID-19, posing as public health organizations, like the Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization.

“We urge every Kentuckian to check the source of any information or claims related to COVID-19,” Cameron said.  “Be wary of any communication that asks for personal information or donations, and report scams to the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.”

“Kentuckians should be suspicious of scammers and con artists claiming to have a cure for the newest strain of the virus,” Beshear said. “Only legitimate medical authorities are working with the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration to create a vaccine for COVID-19. If, and when, a vaccine is approved, Kentuckians should ask their family doctor or government health officials for information on how to obtain a vaccine.”

To avoid identity thieves, con artists, and self-proclaimed experts, Kentuckians should:

• Watch out for products that claim to cure coronavirus or guarantee coronavirus prevention.

• Be wary of emails from con artists pretending to be the Centers for Disease Control or other public health organizations. A legitimate medical provider would never ask for sensitive information through email.

• Research organizations that are claiming to raise money for a coronavirus vaccine or to help victims.

• Consult the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reliable information and updates about the coronavirus. A COVID-19 hotline has also been established for health-related concerns and questions at 1-800-722-5725.

To learn more about potential coronavirus scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau. 

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