CONSUMER ALERT: Beware of Coronavirus Scams

Consumer Alert, Attorney General Karl A. Racine

As public health concerns grow about coronavirus (COVID-19), scammers may try to take advantage of consumers. Scams could include selling products that are ineffective at preventing the disease and spreading misinformation through social media and other channels. Other scammers may be pretending to solicit donations to help coronavirus victims, but instead are stealing consumers’ money and personal information.

Here are some tips to protect yourself from these scams:

Beware of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus and prevention tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Consult a medical professional for questions about prevention and treatment. Ignore offers for vaccinations and be wary of advertisements for cures or treatments for the disease. While the best way to prevent this illness is to avoid exposure to the virus, the CDC and the DC Department of Health have tips to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

DC Health Coronavirus Tips

Do your own research before donating to a charity. Remember that an organization may not be authentic just because it uses words like “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable looking seals or logos on its materials. There are a number of independent online sources you can use to verify that a charity is legitimateUse OAG’s free resource to learn more tips on how to avoid falling victim to charity scams.

Report scams to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG): If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact OAG by calling 202-442-9828, emailing , or submitting a complaint online.

OAG works to educate District residents about their consumer rights, responds to individual consumer complaints, and takes law enforcement action when appropriate.