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For Immediate Release:
March 26, 2020
Contact: 518-486-9844
press@dos.ny.gov
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Consumer Alert: The Division of Consumer Protection Urges New Yorkers to be Aware of Latest Crop of Novel Coronavirus Scams

Scammers Using A Variety of Methods Tied to Novel Coronavirus to Target Consumers

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is alerting consumers about scammers taking advantage of the novel coronavirus. Scammers are using techniques that typically arise with a major global event such as: falsely claiming to be online sellers of popular goods; setting up fake charities; sending fake emails and texts that contain harmful links designed to steal your personal information; and using robocalls to pitch novel coronavirus treatments and work at home schemes. People should be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of public fears surrounding this issue.

“Unscrupulous scammers never take a break and they are now trying to cash in on the news of the novel coronavirus by trying to lure people into unknowingly providing their personal information,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “During this public health emergency, there are simple steps you can take to avoid novel coronavirus scams that can help protect your hard-earned money and your identity.” 

“New York State’s coordinated multi-agency response to managing the novel coronavirus includes raising awareness about deceptive and dishonest attempts to take advantage of people during this outbreak,” said Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. “The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses involve proven precautions, like washing your hands, sneezing or coughing into your elbow and staying indoors when you feel sick to help prevent the spread of infection all year.”

Below are tips to protect yourself from novel coronavirus scams:

New York State is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus. For up to date information on the novel coronavirus, visit the New York State Department of Health website or call the Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. For more consumer protection information, call the DCP Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm or visit the DCP website at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer

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