OAK PARK, Mich. - Officials with Michigan's health department and attorney general's office are warning of misinformation regarding the coronavirus.
Maybe you were targeted as one of the victims?
STATEWIDE ALERT - Royal Oak Beaumont have confirmed a case of coronavirus within a Hospital, Check updates: (link). Please visit this link for more information about how to keep yourself safe. Please contact the Health Center if you exhibit flu-like symptoms.
"I can't tell if it's authentic or not. It could be anybody doing that," said Charles Williams of Oak Park.
Williams is right, it really could be anyone doing that.
This text message is among several new kinds of misinformation spreading on the Internet. They're intended to capitalize on victims' fears over the coronavirus and guiding them toward unsafe links that can infect personal devices and steal private information.
"Earlier this week we partnered with Attorney General Dana Nessel to at least warn individuals about scams like this," said Lynn Sutfin of the state health department.
The scams might also look like social media posts, fabricated testimony made to look like it originated in someone's neighborhood, or requests for donations.
Don't fall for any of these posts, advises Sutfin.
"If there were to be a confirmed case of coronavirus in our state that would be issued by the state. It would come from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services we would be sending it out in email, we would send it out in a news release, we would send it out on our social media," Sutfin said. "but you're not going to get a text sent from a hospital saying they have a case."
The attorney general's office also says to not click on any links or attachments in emails, text messages or social media posts sent by unknown sources and don't provide private information to callers without first verifying who that person is.
You can also file a complaint online at the state attorney general's website here.