AG Kaul Reminds Wisconsin Residents to be Alert to Potential COVID-19 Marketing Scams
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Kaul today reminded Wisconsinites about the increased risk of scams during the coronavirus public health emergency.
“Wisconsinites can help thwart scams by learning about the tactics that scammers are using and by letting DATCP know about suspected consumer fraud,” said Attorney General Kaul.
Scammers are using different techniques to attempt to trick consumers around the country, including telemarketing, emails, texts, and social media posts selling fake COVID-19 cures or remedies. Other scams appear to give virus updates, but have malicious links that could steal sensitive personal identity information. COVID-19-related investment scams have also been reported.
According to the FDA, there are currently no approved vaccines, drugs, or other products available to treat or cure COVID-19. Residents should follow the guidance of their healthcare providers, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the CDC, or the World Health Organization.
Marketing Fraud Prevention Tips from DATCP:
If you receive a suspicious email, text, or social media post, ask yourself:
- Have I ever done business with this person or company? If yes, still be cautious before clicking any links. If no, do not click any links and delete the message.
- Are there any attachments? If yes, do not click on them. If you believe the email or text and attachment are legitimate, contact the sender first to verify the contents and security of the attachment.
- Does the message request any personal information (such as Social Security number, Medicare card number, date of birth, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or passwords)? If so, do not reply and delete the message.
- Does the message contain grammatical errors and awkward sentences? If so, do not reply. These can be a red flag that the message is not from a professional, reputable, or legitimate business.
- If you still think the message may be from a legitimate company that you have done business with (such as your bank) or a government agency, look up a telephone number for that business or agency. Call the business or agency directly and ask them if they sent you the message.
For more information about current COVID-19 scams: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/COVID19ScamAlerts.aspx
How to Make a Complaint
To report suspected fraud, please contact DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline at or (800) 422-7128, or submit a complaint online: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/FileConsumerComplaint.aspx