EDITORIAL: Pandemic brings out the worst in some

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We’re disgusted that a reason exists to write this.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released his annual Top 10 list of consumer complaints for 2020. Taking the top spot on the list were pandemic-related complaints — 4,879 of them.

It’s such a problem that there’s an entire section on the AG’s website devoted to COVID-related price gouging and fraud reports.

The complaints ran the gamut, from refund disputes to unlawful car repossessions to scams and identity theft connected to unemployment insurance benefits fraud.

It’s hard to know which one of these transgressions to be most annoyed by, but we think the fraud scams are what ruffles our feathers the most.

The pandemic — and, well, all of 2020 — was a struggle for most and devastating for some. It’s safe to say we all didn’t escape 2020 without at least some emotional trauma.

Unfortunately, these situations tend to bring out the worst in some people, especially those looking to make a quick buck off the misfortune of others.

Raoul’s release of the Top 10 list was timed to coincide with National Consumer Protection Week. And though today marks the end of the designated week, it’s never too late to protect yourself.

According to Lisa Schifferle, senior policy analyst for the Office for Older Americans, if a caller makes statements contrary to the following, hang up.

• Neither Medicare nor Social Security give you early access to the vaccine.

• You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine sooner.

• To register for a vaccination, you do not have to provide your Social Security, immigration status, bank account or credit card number.

• Medicare covers the cost of the COVID vaccine.

Using such advice and keeping your wits about you will hopefully pay great dividends.

And though many are tired due to this ongoing pandemic, now is not the time to let your guard down — whether it be still wearing your mask or being on high alert for scams.

via The Daily Journal

March 6, 2021 at 01:06PM

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