In coordination with the Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr has directed U.S. Attorneys to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of Coronavirus fraud schemes. Be on heightened alert about potential scams related to COVID-19, and to report the fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or e-mail NCDF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting scams will help us investigate and prosecute wrongdoers, and track scams so we can warn the public about emerging schemes. Some examples of these schemes include:
· Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
· Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
· Malicious websites and apps that appear to share Coronavirus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
· Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
· Medical providers obtaining patient information for COVID-19 testing and then using that information to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures.
The NCDF can receive and enter complaints into a centralized system that can be accessed by all U.S. Attorneys, as well as Justice Department litigating and law enforcement components to identify, investigate and prosecute fraud schemes. The NCDF coordinates complaints with 16 additional federal law enforcement agencies, as well as state Attorneys General and local authorities.
Education is the best way to avoid being defrauded by scammers. To find out more about Department of Justice resources and information, please visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Source: United States Department of Justice