AG Healey Warns Against Coronavirus Scams, Price Gouging

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey wants you to know how to protect yourself—not just from COVID-19, but also from fraud.

The AG held a press conference Tuesday morning, warning about a rash of scams in the wake of the virus's spread.

She spoke about things like price gouging on items like hand sanitizer, the sale of face masks you don't need, and cold calls offering cures that don't exist.

"Know that we're watching, and we'll take action as necessary, because people should not be illegally profiting off of this crisis," Healey said.

Healey asked the public to make sure they get their information only from reputable, authoritative sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As for cures and vaccines, she reminded that there are none in existence yet for coronavirus, so anyone trying to sell you one is not genuine.

Her office is asking residents to report any price-gouging incidents, and to hang up on cold-call scammers immediately.

"Please, do not get fooled, do not get scammed," she said. "There are also folks out there who are operating illegitimate charities, that are asking for donations to address the coronavirus. Please, do not get fooled."

If you would like to donate to a charity dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, Healey's office said, make sure it is a legitimate one, be sure to pay using cash, and don't let yourself be pressured into giving money.

She reminded Massachusetts residents they are entitled to sick days under state law.

"It's important that people know there is an earned sick time law in this state," she said. "Workers have a right to up to 40 hours of sick time, should they need it, each year."

On Twitter, Healey's office shared information about the earned sick time law, and asked workers to file complaints with her office if their employers aren't acting in compliance.

With travel restrictions and cancellations growing in the wake of the virus's spread, Healey also suggested travelers whose flights have been cancelled seek a refund, and connect with her office if they're having trouble getting one.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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(Photo: Massachusetts Attorney General's office)

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