CONSUMER ALERT: AG Paxton reminds Texans to be aware of cyber scams during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency

Published 3:34 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continues to caution Texans about scams emerging during the statewide Coronavirus disaster declaration announced by Governor Abbott last Friday.

Several cyber scams involving false emails or text messages have been reported, and Attorney General Paxton advises all Texans to be on alert for electronic communications with dangerous attachments or fraudulent website links. Unscrupulous actors send these messages with the intention of deceiving citizens into revealing sensitive information or donating to false charities. Any email or social media post with a Coronavirus (COVID-19) subject line, attachment or hyperlink should be treated with caution.

Remember these tips to avoid cyber scams:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources like legitimate, government websites for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal any personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to any email solicitations for this information.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.

The current disaster declaration is effective across the entire state, and under Texas consumer protection statutes, it is illegal for a person to take advantage of a disaster declaration by engaging in deceptive trade practices.

Texans who believe they have encountered disaster scams should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online. For additional information on disaster scams, visit disaster scams website.

For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Texas Department of State Health Services.