Attorney General’s Office Reports of Possible Email Scams Tied to Ebola Outbreak
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today alerted Illinois residents of several possible email scams tied to the Ebola outbreak.
Madigan’s office has received emails titled “People being quarantined” that purport to be an “Ebola Pandemic Update” and include a link to view a so-called “civilian crisis protocol.” The email may contain links that could infect a user’s computer. Another email offered a “surplus personal protection kit” for $29 that alleges to provide infection defense specifically for members of emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies.
Madigan urges Illinoisans to be on the lookout for these types of unsolicited or suspicious emails. Consumers who receive such emails should delete them immediately. Do not open or click on any links in the email.
“We suspect these emails are the handiwork of scammers seeking to take advantage of people’s understandable fear and anxiety surrounding this international public health risk,” Madigan said. “It’s extremely important that you delete these messages and instead consult legitimate resources for more information about prevention measures underway.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is posting regular updates regarding the federal government’s response to the outbreak, including tips on how to minimize the risk of infection, and the Illinois Department of Public Health recently announced its protocol in the event of a suspected Ebola case in Illinois.
Beware of Charitable Scams
Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations are required to register each year with the Attorney General’s office. To assist potential donors in making wise giving decisions, the Attorney General’s office provides important financial information about charitable organizations such as income, expenditures, and programs. You can also check out the following resources to learn more about specific charities: IRS Select Check, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and Foundation Center.
To best ensure that your donation will be used for its intended purpose, Madigan suggested the following tips:
Madigan encouraged donors to report suspicious solicitations to her office’s Charitable Trust Bureau by calling (312) 814-2595. To report any potential scam to the Ebola outbreak, contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau at 1 (800) 386-5638 (Chicago), 1 (800) 243-0618 (Springfield), and 1 (800) 243-0607.