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The office of U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson of the Northern District of California in San Francisco is urging the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to the coronavirus.
Reports can be made by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. U.S. attorneys have been directed to make investigation and prosecution of coronavirus fraud a priority.
Reports and complaints made to the center will be entered into a centralized system accessible by all U.S. attorneys and the federal Department of Justice, officials said, and allow investigation and prosecution of fraud attempts.
“Unfortunately there are fraudsters out there who will try to use this public health emergency to scam the public and profit on the pandemic,” Anderson said in a statement. “As communities throughout Northern California take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are working closely with our law enforcement partners to guard against fraud and bring swift justice to those who try to ply their scams in our district.”
The office said examples of schemes include fake COVID-19 cures; malicious websites and apps that appear to share coronavirus-related information; fraudulent donation appeals; and medical providers using patient information obtained for COVID-19 testing to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen last week directed each U.S. attorney to appoint a coronavirus fraud coordinator to serve as legal counsel for the federal judicial district on coronavirus issues, direct prosecution of related crimes, and conduct outreach and awareness activities.
To learn more about Department of Justice resources and information, visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.