US Attorney urges public to report coronavirus scams and fraud

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph urged the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or to the NCDF e-mail address disaster@leo.gov.

The NCDF Hotline can receive and enter complaints into a centralized system that can be accessed by the entire Justice Department to identify and prosecute fraud schemes.

“While the vast majority of us are acting as a community to focus on our collective health, there are scammers and fraudsters out there using fear and misinformation to target the most vulnerable among us,” said Joseph.

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; and
  • Medical providers obtaining patient information for COVID-19 testing and then using that information to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures.   

U.S. Attorney Joseph has appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg to be the Western District of Louisiana Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator. AUSA Reeg can be reached through the main number at the U.S. Attorney’s Office – (318) 676-3600.

To find more about Department of Justice resources and information, please visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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