The federal government will not ask for personal information via email via email or text message, said Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson in a release. Clarkson warned Alaskans to be wary of scams. (Courtesy Photo | Austin Distel)

The federal government will not ask for personal information via email via email or text message, said Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson in a release. Clarkson warned Alaskans to be wary of scams. (Courtesy Photo | Austin Distel)

Alaska attorney general warns public to be wary of scams

Protect yourself and your identity in this crisis.

Crisis is always an opportunity for the unscrupulous to prey on the gullible, and the coronavirus pandemic is no different, said Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson in a release.

“The Department of Law, Consumer Protection Unit is aware of phishing scams, telephone and text message scams and hoaxes, and reports of price gouging,”Clarkson said. “Alaskans need to look out for these unethical and unscrupulous practices; Alaska will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of our citizens’ fears and vulnerabilities during this time of global pandemic.”

Many of the scams are targeting people’s avarice, talking about opportunities for cures or investment in the face of the pandemic, Clarkson. Other confidence games involve claiming that the victim has been in contact with someone infected, and that an agency needs verification of personal data such as Medicare or Medicaid information.

“People should be very skeptical of any unexpected calls, texts or emails where you are asked for personal information,” Clarkson said. “Do not give this information out over the phone or to unsolicited emails.”

Clarkson emphasized that the government would not be contacting people asking for their emails in order for people to receive stimulus funds or other pandemic related aid.

“Be on the lookout for 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,” Clarkson said. “Government agencies are not sending out emails asking for residents’ personal information in order to receive funds or other pandemic relief opportunities.”

For more information, call the Consumer Protection Unit at 269-5200, 1-888-576-2529 or consumerprotection@alaska.gov, or the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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