The U.S. Attorney is encouraging the public to report any suspected fraud tied to the coronavirus.
John H. Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, called on residents to report any suspected schemes to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or to the NCDF e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authorities will prioritize investigation into such cases. Potential examples 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 Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners stand ready to bring the full weight of federal law upon anyone who would seek to prey upon people’s fears or sympathy and profit from this unprecedented international emergency,” Durham wrote in a media release.
The NCDF will receive and enter complaints into a system that can be accessed nationwide by other US attorneys and members of the Justice Department. NCDF works with federal and local authorities.