The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. In a memo to U.S. Attorneys, Attorney General Barr said, “The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated.”
Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams. There have been reports of:
- 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 virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
- Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.
If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home though a number of platforms. Go to:
- Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report it to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov
- If it’s a cyber scam, submit your complaint through https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx