FBI warns of coronavirus scams

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LANSING, MI. (WILX) - The federal stimulus checks congress approved could be in your account in the next three weeks.

However, scammers are already trying to get that money.

"People are trying to profiteer off people's fear an anxiety," said FBI Special Agent In Charge Steven D'Antuono.

D'Antuono is warning michiganders to be vigilant of scammers using the coronavirus.

"The fraudsters and criminals are trying put links and information on social media to give them money instead of it going to where it supposed to be," he said.

D'Antuono said the biggest scams are people trying to get the stimulus money congress approved for everyone.

"The stimulus checks are coming. But you're not going to get an email from the government asking for your personal information for the stimulus check. You're not going to get a phone call from the government asking for your personal information," said D'Antuono.

That's because the Department of Treasury is using the information you provided on your tax filings.

The scammers are using phone calls and emails.

D'Antuono said the best thing you can do is verify before clicking.

"I just recently got an email from PayPal with a PDF they wanted me to click on for suspicious activity on my account. I delete the email and go into the account on my own," said D'Antuono.

The Michigan Attorney General's Office is also investigating many scams associated with the coronavirus crisis.

"One of the most outgratous scams we've seen is a company out of Rockford selling a coronavirus defender patch, making claims it can aid your immune system to defend itself against exposure to the virus," said Joe Potchen, division chief of the AG's Corporate Oversight Division.

Often times the AG's office takes action against these companies, including cease and desist letters.

"There's a lot of things we can do, such as get a court injunction for knowing violations. It's up to a $25,000 fine said Potchen.

If you feel you are being scammed, you can report them the the Michigan Attorney General's Office or the FBI.

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