NEW YORK — New York State Attorney General Letitia James joined in a town hall with AARP on Friday to address current coronavirus and census scams in the state. James says her office has already received over 5,000 complaints regarding scams.
Some scams that James said have been prominent lately and that are from "bogus, bogus individuals" include:
- People are selling basic products, such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper, for exorbitant prices.
- People going door to door pretending to be from the Centers for Disease Control selling coronavirus tests.
- Phone calls pretending to be the government, saying they have your federal relief money and need your bank account information
- Air purifiers being sold online that "kill" the coronavirus, or treatments, vaccines, antibodies or cures that claim to be for the virus.
- InfoWars host Alex Jones and Televangelist Jim Bakker have both been selling products that claim to cure, treat or kill coronavirus. These products are scams.
James had the following advice about scams:
- James says you will know price gouging when you see it - if something costs much, much more than it did before the virus, that is price gouging.
- There are no FDA approved treatments, cures, or antibodies for coronavirus. There is currently no FDA approved vaccine, there are no air filters that can "kill" the virus, and you cannot buy coronavirus tests.
- If you contact the AG's office with information about scams, their office can order cease and desist orders to scammers and even take these individuals or businesses to court.
- The Census is free, you will never have to pay to fill it out.
- If you hear something that doesn't sound right in a phone call, hang up the phone.
Over 60 percent of the AARP members that called into the town hall said in a poll that they are concerned or very concerned about personally or having a family member fall victim to a scam.
For more information from the AG about coronavirus-related scams or to contact their office, click here.