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Feds urge public to report suspected virus-related fraud


Last updated 3/21/2020 at 9:18am

   LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The U.S. Attorney's Office has urged members of the public to report any suspected fraud schemes related to the coronavirus pandemic to law enforcement.

   Anyone who suspects such fraud should call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or send complaints to the NCDF email address, [email protected]

   The NCDF enters complaints into a centralized system that can be accessed by all Justice Department prosecutors and law enforcement components -- such as the FBI -- 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.

   "Our primary goal is to maintain safety and security across the seven counties we serve,'' said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. "Even as we come together as a nation to deal with the threat of COVID-19, there are individuals among us and across the globe who are attempting to use this crisis as an opportunity to exploit our fears and take advantage of our generosity.''

   Hanna said his office is following the direction of U.S. Attorney General William Barr to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of coronavirus fraud schemes, including the online sale of bogus COVID-19 cures, the solicitation of donations for illegitimate or nonexistent charitable organizations and the distribution of ransomware from malicious websites and apps that promise to share coronavirus-related information.

   To find more about federal resources and information, visit

   The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California serves about 20 million residents in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.


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