Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who is serving on the Governor’s committee for Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Planning, is urging all Mississippians to be particularly vigilant right now about scams and frauds that are emerging in the wake of the current emergency circumstances.
“Emergencies bring out the best in some people, but sometimes they bring out the worst, too. It is important to remember there are people who are looking to take advantage of this time of uncertainty,” said General Fitch. “If you suspect that someone is unfairly raising their prices to take advantage of the outbreak, you may be able to do something about it and our consumer protection team is ready to assist you with your questions.”
Here are some tips on how you can better protect yourself from scams that may occur during the Coronavirus outbreak:
- Always use trusted and official sources when seeking the latest information on the virus. Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that they have information about the virus. The best source for information about the virus is this CDC website: Click Here.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Do not let anyone rush you into donating. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, you are probably right to be suspicious. The FTC has a helpful website on how to donate wisely: Click Here
- Not every instance of raised prices is truly price gouging, but if you think you see or experience price gouging, the best thing to do is take a photo, including a time and date stamp, of the price signs while you are at the business.
Governor Tate Reeves signed a State of Emergency on Saturday, March 14 in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, following the President’s national emergency proclamation.
If you feel that you have been a victim of a scam during the Coronavirus outbreak, please contact the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division at (601) 359-4230 or (800) 281-4418.
For more information on Coronavirus impacts in our State, visit the Mississippi Department of Health by clicking here.
Attorney General Lyn Fitch Press Release