ADEM and AG Rutledge release statements on COVID-19 scams

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The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) is warning citizens that there are persons who are impersonating employees of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) going door-to-door and offering COVID-19 testing in exchange for money and personal information.

ADEM has confirmed that the CDC is not going door-to-door for testing.

Arkansas residents encountering someone at their door stating they are there to test them for a coronavirus or COVID-19 should file a consumer complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by calling (501) 682-2007 or (800) 482-8982 or downloading a Consumer Complaint Form at arkansasag.gov/forms/file-a-consumer-complaint.

And Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also issued statements regarding certain scams taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation.

In a release from yesterday, Rutledge’s office said:

“While taking extra precautions to prevent infection and the spread of the COVID-19 virus, don’t forget to be safe online. Con artists have been creating thousands of websites daily, knowing that Americans are turning to the internet for news and information about this pandemic; making it a ripe place to infect your device, steal your information and spread malware.

“Arkansans must weed out these fake websites, only relying and sharing verified information from reliable sources,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Cyber criminals are spending time creating fake websites, emails, and ads that look like they are from legitimate sources to take your money.”

Attorney General Rutledge has provided the following tips to protect Arkansans from con artists:

  • Get information from well-known or government sources and websites that end in .gov. Resources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arkansas Department of Health.
  • Beware of requests that ask for your personal information, credit card information, social security number or banking information.
  • Check the URL link for a “lock” icon before you proceed.
  • Look for generic email greetings like “Dear Sir or Madam” and delete emails that insist you act now.

And today, the AG’s office released this statement:

While Arkansans are staying home in an attempt to prevent infection and spread of the COVID-19 virus, con artists are out and about going door-to-door targeting frightened senior citizens. Posing as employees of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these scammers knock on your door and offer to scan you for the COVID-19 virus at a cost of $50. These con artists, who are not licensed medical professionals, swab your nasal cavity and pretend to perform a medical test while you watch. To obtain your “test results,” the scammers ask for your banking information, including credit and debit card numbers, and social security number.

“It is unbelievable that con artists use the fear surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to target Arkansans, especially senior citizens,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The CDC and other health officials are not going door-to-door and performing tests. Arkansans should consult their trusted health care provider or the Arkansas Department of Health regarding COVID-19 testing.”

The Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the CDC is not going door-to-door for testing. Arkansas residents encountering someone at their door stating that they are there to test them for the COVID-19 virus should immediately call local law enforcement and file a consumer complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General’s Office has created a page that links to state and federal government resource pages for COVID-19 at ArkansasAG.gov/COVID19. Contact the office with any questions or concerns at (800) 482-8982.

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