Attorney General releases alert on coronavirus scams

Students+walk+across+the+main+quad+between+class+periods+on+Thursday%2C+February+22%2C+2018.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Students walk across the main quad between class periods on Thursday, February 22, 2018.

By Clare Budin, Assistant Daytime News Editor

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a statement Tuesday urging Illinois residents to practice caution and be aware of possible online scams for coronavirus “cures” or  “miracle” products.

According to the statement, the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. and concerns over cases in Illinois have led to an uptick of advertisements through email and social media for products and substances claiming to provide cures or heighten the ability to prevent the contraction of coronavirus. 

Some of the substances that have been claimed to prevent or cure coronavirus include chlorine dioxide, hydroxychloroquine, essential oils, silver, elderberry and garlic.

Raoul said in his statement residents should not buy any substance advertised as coronavirus preventions or cures, to delete any promotional emails and to contact the Attorney General’s Offices to report these advertisements.

Similarly, Raoul encourages residents to be cautious when considering donating to coronavirus-related charities and encouraged viewing the financial information of registered charities in Illinois before making any donations. 

According to the British government’s chief scientific officer, Sir Patrick Vallance, a vaccine or anything that would constitute a ‘cure’ for coronavirus would not be developed in time for this initial outbreak, but it not be “unreasonable to assume” that a vaccine could be safely developed and approved in a year to a year and a half.

Common pieces of advice for citizens to reduce the chances of contraction including frequently washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, using a tissue or another cover for coughs and sneezes and avoiding large public gatherings.

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