If you suspect someone is trying to run a fraudulent scheme on you related to the coronavirus pandemic, report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline.
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“The Department of Justice is absolutely committed to bringing to justice those who would seek to take advantage of our friends, family, and neighbors during this challenging time – but we need the public’s help,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman of the Northern District of Ohio said Friday in a prepared statement.
“The mission of law enforcement never stops, and if you’re a criminal seeking to capitalize on public misconceptions or fear, then you should know that we will find you and prosecute you,” he said.
U.S. attorneys have been directed by Attorney General William Barr and the Justice Department to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of COVID-19 fraud 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 COVID-19 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.
To report suspected fraud, call the NCDF hotline, 1-866-720-5721 or report it to the NCDF email address firstname.lastname@example.org
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