Urgent Consumer Alert on Phishing Emails!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, March 20, 2020 MI AG Dana Nessel Issues Urgent Consumer Alert on Phishing Emails

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today issued an urgent reminder to be aware of phishing emails sent by scammers seeking to obtain your personal information and hard-earned money. No one is immune to these attempts including Michigan’s Attorney General. Staff within the Michigan Department of Attorney General were subjected to a phishing scam today as they were led to believe they had received an email from AG Nessel requesting they purchase eBay gift cards then text the PINs to a specific number.  “This attempt is just another reminder that scammers are relentless and will stop at nothing to bamboozle us out of our hard-earned funds — even when our country is facing a crisis,” said Nessel. “I want to urge all Michiganders to remain on high alert and report any of this behavior to my office.” 

Although these phishing emails use a certain set of ingredients such as a sense of urgency and believable stories or connections, recipients should pay close attention to the following:  

The name listed on the “from” line is not an indication of who is emailing! Pay close attention to the actual email address. If that email address doesn’t match up with what you know to be correct or is abnormally long, it’s likely a phishing scam.  
The request is asking for money via an unusual payment method: Gifts cards, wire transfers, cash reload cards are a clear indication of a scam.  
Misspelled words or poor grammar in the body of the email are red flags identifying a scam.  

Do not reply to suspicious emails. By doing so, a recipient confirms to the sender that they’ve reached a valid email. They will then continue to send spam emails via various email addresses and also attempt to hack the recipient’s account. These bad actors have sophisticated software that generates thousands of different email addresses automatically, thus preventing recipients from effectively blocking their attempts. Lastly, as indicated in the attempt sent to the Department’s staff, by replying to the email, scammers will attempt to reach more individuals in an organization by using the recipient’s name to keep the scam going.  

Do not fall for this! Immediately mark the email as spam and delete it.  
Remember, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection webpage is always available as a resource for consumers to turn to. 
Those who wish to make a report about potential scams can do so with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team by filing a complaint online or by calling 877-765-8388.   

Be Aware: Red Cross Impersonators!

The Red Cross has been receiving reports in several states, including the latest in Lowell, IN area that impersonators are posing as Red Cross personnel. Individuals are going house to house doing one of three things:
 
1) Attempting to sell Red Cross services to perform  a COVID-19 test
2) Solicit donations for COVID-19
3) Robbing the homeowner answering the door
The American Red Cross will not be going house to house offering COVID-19 testing, nor soliciting funds door to door.  Indiana State Police (ESF-13) is verifying the report in Lowell, IN.
 
Allison Clark
Operational Planner
FEMA Integration Team – MI
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
FEMA Region V
 
7150 Harris Drive
Dimondale, MI 48821
C: 773-502-4694
E: Allison.Clark@fema.dhs.gov
 

Map Available to Find Meals for Children During School Closure

LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce that an online map has been developed for families to find locations where meals are being provided during this period of school closure. The map can be found at: https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/, and will be updated twice each day during the closure period. These meals, served under the program called Unanticipated School Closure Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), are available to all children at no cost. Up to two meals per day may be served to all children ages 0-18. This includes students with disabilities ages 18-26 with an active individual education program (IEP). This program assists Michigan’s school districts and community partners to ensure that kids receive nutritious meals during the school closure announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on March 12, 2020. Schools and sponsors that participate in Unanticipated School Closure SFSP help ensure children do not experience a lapse in food security now that schools are closed starting March 16, 2020, through April 5, 2020.

For questions about Michigan’s Summer Food Service Program or Unanticipated School Closure, contact MDE at 517-241-5374 or mde-sfsp@michigan.gov. We respectfully request that TV stations, when applicable, provide this information on a crawl at the bottom of their broadcast, and radio stations announce this as a Public Service Announcement during the day. Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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Contact: Martin Ackley, Michigan Department of Education, 517-241-4395
JIC News Release 027_Map Available to Find Meals for Children During School Closure.pdf

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