ALTON, Ill. – In order to help protect Illinois residents against fraud and scams during this vulnerable time, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, is warning residents about common scams emerging during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office has been warning against new scams that have become common during the public health crisis.
“It’s appalling that there are people trying to take advantage of others during a time of increased stress and anxiety for many,” said Bristow. “It is essential that individuals stay informed about what information is real and what false information may be someone trying to take advantage of your finances.”
According to Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, individuals should avoid answering text messages, phone calls, or emails that request people provide financial information or click a link to learn more about the federal CARES Act that includes stimulus information. These links prompt people to share their private information like their social security number, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers. Clicking links can also download dangerous malware to the phone or computer, compromising the security of files, photos, and other documents on the device. Those concerned about their stimulus check should visit www.IRS.gov for more information. To learn more about how to avoid fraud or scams, visit the Illinois Attorney General’s website at https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.
Price gouging has also emerged as an obstacle for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Price gouging will typically affect the price of items related to the pandemic such as hand sanitizer, face masks, and disinfectant supplies. Bristow is encouraging anyone that suspects individuals or businesses of price gouging to file a report with the Illinois Attorney General’s office. To report price gouging or fraud related to COVID-19 online, fill out the consumer complaint submission form at https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/.
“These scams and frauds that put Illinois residents at risk will not be tolerated,” said Bristow. “I encourage everyone to be vigilant and also check in on your loved ones and seniors to ensure they avoid falling victim to scams or price gouging during this time.”
To find the most recent information about resources and information regarding COVID-19 in Illinois, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov or call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931.