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State Auditor says be aware of scammers during the pandemic

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

State Auditor Kathy McGuiness:

There are unscrupulous people spreading misinformation and lies on the Internet and finding ways to make a quick buck at the expense of people’s anxiety. It’s difficult for many of us to know whom to trust.

The coronavirus outbreak has understandably caused fear and uncertainty among many Delawareans who are worried about theirs and their family’s health and the economic consequences this health crisis will have on their finances. Already I see my senior mother’s phone lighting up with phone calls and text messages from scammers looking to prey on her vulnerability and fear.

If you suspect any situation of price gouging or scams at a local store you can reach out to the DOJ Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-220-5424 or email consumer.protection@delaware.gov.

In closing if you see any instances of fraud, waste and abuse with your tax dollars, contact us at 1-800-55-FRAUD or report it through our website at auditor.delaware.gov or through our mobile app at fraud.delaware.gov.

As Delaware State Auditor, I’ve remained committed to carrying out the mission of our office to combat fraud, waste and abuse – a mission that has become heightened now that there’s a greater window of opportunity for fraudsters and scammers. Along with my competent and hardworking staff, we’ll continue to shine a light on fraud and promote a more efficient and trustworthy state government; ensuring taxpayer dollars are safeguarded from abuse. This issue is taken even more seriously in times of crisis and chaos. I’m here to say: We’ve got your back.

With product scams and buyer and seller scams on the rise, my office will continue to serve as an advocate and resource for Delawareans to report fraudulent activities for investigation. Delawareans should be cautious of unsolicited offers for coronavirus vaccinations and test kits and should fact check information about all products and services purchased online before providing credit card and bank information.

As federal stimulus money begins to flow to the state and to Delawareans, it will be essential to practice due diligence with any offer or claim that sounds too good to be true. Remain suspicious of lenders promoting quick access to cash that also include high interest rates and fees. You can protect yourself by ensuring your anti-malware and anti-virus software is up-to-date on your technology devices, but also by securing access to your financial data, with stronger passwords and two-factor authentication.   

The coronavirus will become more widespread in the coming days. Delawareans need to remain ever so vigilant. My office will continue to do everything it can to ensure your tax dollars are being spent effectively during this time, as well as informing Delawareans of potential fraud schemes that might arise. The Auditor’s Office will remain a resource for Delawareans in every possible way.

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