scamalertPARK FOREST - Unfortunately, many scamming predators take advantage of troubled to seek new victims, especially seniors. State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) urges everyone to use their best judgement when responding to personal information and money requests.

“I know these are very difficult times, however, please try to stay calm and only trust information coming from reliable sources, professionals and elected officials,” Joyce said. “In general, the government and health professionals won’t ask for personal information via email or over the phone, unless you initiate the call.”

Attorney General Kwame Raoul said attorneys general from across the nation have seen an increase in reports of people posing as charitable organizations or public health agencies. Those scams, according to Raoul, include cyber scams, telephone and text-messaging scams, counterfeit product offers, bogus door-to-door offers of tests and products related to the coronavirus, and solicitations for donations to phony charities.

Some of the most common scams seen by Raoul include:

•   Emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and other health care organizations, offering to share information about the virus.

•   Emails asking for the verification of personal data, including Medicare or Medicaid information, in exchange for receiving economic stimulus funds or other benefits from the government.

•   Email phishing scams, text messages from unknown sources which may include hyperlinks to what appear to be automated pandemic updates, or interactive infection maps.

•   COVID-19 vaccinations and home test kits that are made online, in stores, through electronic messages or over the phone.

For more information or to report scams connected to COVID-19, please visit the attorney general’s website:​.