DOJ warns of ‘mask exemption’ card scam


Online group claims holder of card lawfully exempt from mask requirements

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Department of Justice has issued an alert pertaining to fraudulent “mask exemption” cards being circulated online.

The group behind the cards, the Freedom to Breathe Agency, claim holders of the card are lawfully exempt from wearing a mask through an endorsement from the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Better Business Bureau said not only are the cards fake, but the exemption is not valid either.

The card also has a warning that threatens penalties of $75,000 if the cardholder’s health condition is called into question.

“While this sounds intimidating, Better Business Bureau is urging business owners and consumers alike to recognize this is fraudulent,” the BBB’s Oregon State Director Danielle Kane said in a release.

The BBB also announced it has been tracking a separate phishing scam related to the coronavirus. Consumers are contacted through email, text or social media with a message indicating they are eligible to collect money from a “COVID-19 Global Empowerment Fund.”

“Consumers are coaxed into providing their bank account information, and of course, lose money in the end,” the Kane said. “This type of scam is not new, but still, people fall for it when there is a slightly new angle or name.”

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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