Office of the Attorney General
Scammers Try To Cash In On Swine Flu Epidemic
Attorney General Jack Conway cautions Kentucky consumers that con artists are trying to cash in on the swine flu epidemic. As H1N1 (aka swine flu) spreads, scammers are targeting consumers who turn to the Internet for information about the deadly virus. An online security firm reports a spike in new swine flu domain names with some of the sites advertising items to “protect your family” against “swine flu.”
“As we have seen all-too-often, con artists seize every opportunity to prey on the fears of unsuspecting consumers to make a quick buck,” General Conway said. “Their intentions with these bogus prevention websites and emails are to either obtain money for worthless products that they’re advertising, or to obtain personal information from consumers to steal their identities or access their bank accounts. Don’t let your concern about the flu trick you into clicking on links in these deceptive emails. There is currently no vaccine for the swine flu”
General Conway urges consumers to always be suspicious of these types of ads on the Internet and in printed tabloids.
“Do not respond to unsolicited emails making H1N1 flu protection claims. Responding to the email only verifies a valid address for the con artist,” cautioned General Conway. “The links within the emails could also contain a computer virus.”
To track legitimate information and to obtain updates on the H1N1 virus, consumers should rely on trusted sources of information, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov. Information about this flu strain is also available on the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services website. http://chfs.ky.gov/ .
If you receive unsolicited emails regarding H1N1 virus “cures,” forward them to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com. If you see print ads that make similar claims, report them to the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 888-432-9257.