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Coronavirus - What you need to know

Be aware, online coronavirus cures too good to be true

Attorney General warns about email and social media scams

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

Illinois residents shouldn't buy any product promoted online, via email or social media touted as a cure to coronavirus, according to Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

Products are being marketed as cures or total preventatives to COVID-19, and it's a scam, Raoul said in a press release Tuesday.

Individuals should be cautious of any advice or claims certain products can “cure” or prevent the contraction of COVID-19. Products, such as chlorine dioxide, hydroxychloroquine, essential oils, silver, elderberry, and garlic are being advertised as “cures” for COVID-19. 

According to the CDC, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.

Raoul also is urging people to be wary of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other entities claiming to have information about COVID-19, or offering treatments or cures.

Raoul encourages Illinoisans to delete emails promoting treatments or cures and to report the correspondence to the Attorney General’s office.

Anyone who believes they are sick with coronavirus should call ahead to a health care professional.

Additionally, residents should use caution when donating to charitable causes connected to COVID-19. Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations are required to register each year with the Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General’s office provides information about charities, including income, expenditures and programs. To help donors make informed giving decisions, the Attorney General offers the following tips:

• Do not donate if the solicitor uses high-pressure tactics, asks for payment in cash or insists on sending someone to pick up your donation. These are all hallmarks of a scam.

• If you receive an email or text message asking for a donation, confirm the request is from the charity, and not an imposter, by contacting the charity or visiting its website.

• Be cautious of “look-alike” websites. These fraudulent websites will often ask for personal financial information and may download harmful malware onto your computer.

• Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook or social media are legitimate and have already been scrutinized. Research the charity yourself.

Call Raoul's fraud hotline at 1-800-386-5438 in Chicago, 1-800-243-0618 in Springfield and 1-800-243-0607 in Carbondale to report scams connected to COVID-19 or go to the attorney general's website.

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