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Kaul: Watch out for virus-related price gouging, scams

Associated Press
Attorney General Josh Kaul warned people Monday to beware of coronavirus-related scams and price-gouging.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General Josh Kaul warned people Monday to beware of coronavirus-related scams and price-gouging.

Kaul said the state Department of Justice has learned of emails from scammers claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. He warns that people shouldn't respond to an unsolicited communications and shouldn't provide personal information to an unsolicited caller.

He also warned people to beware of any claim of a vaccine or cure for COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes. No approved vaccines or other products are available to treat the disease, Kaul said. 

He also urged people to be careful with donations to charity. People should make sure an organization is registered as a charity with the state Department of Financial Institutions before donating.

Kaul noted that Gov. Tony Evers' order last week declaring a state of emergency prohibits price-gouging, defined as selling consumer goods or services at prices more than 15% higher than pre-emergency prices. Anyone who suspects price-gouging should contact the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at 800-422-7128 or online at https://datcp.wi.gov. 

The state DOJ also has a consumer protection hotline at 1-800-998-0700.