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Iowa Attorney General Cautions About Falling Victim to Coronavirus Scams

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is advising Iowans to be careful not to fall victim to coronavirus scams.

Iowa Attorney General Communications Director Lynn Hicks said there are robocall, phishing, false treatment options, price gouging and more scams going around the state.

“We’re getting a lot of complaints into our office. In some cases we’re getting 100 tips from people claiming to see high prices. Some of them are on Amazon or other online sites and some are in supermarkets and retail stores locally,” Hicks said.

Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a statewide emergency, which stops companies from drastically raising prices.

“We ask people to just let us know about it. We will contact the company or the seller and let them know about the price gauging rules. Ask them questions about how much they’ve raised prices,” Hicks said.

Hicks said people should not give out personal information such as a social security number, credit card information and more.

“We’re seeing robocalls claiming to be from legitimate organizations, including the Iowa Department of Public Health, asking for credit card numbers. The Department of Public Health does not do that,” Hicks said.

People over 60 are more likely to be targeted by a scam, but with many Iowans working from home, everyone should be extra careful.

“Generally, we advise use a little common sense. If you get a phone call or an email or something like that, first of all stop. Before you click on that link or agree to anything, make sure you check it out,” Hicks said.

Des Moines police and Johnston police recently informed residents of different tips to avoid falling victim to COVID-19 scams.

To learn more about filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s office, click here.

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