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Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Attorney General has directed all federal law enforcement, litigating divisions and U.S. Attorneys to coordinate and work closely with state and local authorities to ensure that misconduct is reported as quickly as possible and that all appropriate enforcement tools are available to punish it.

  • Throughout the country, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have received reports of individuals and businesses engaging in a wide range of fraudulent and criminal behavior, including the following examples:

    • Robocalls making fraudulent offers to sell respiratory masks with no intent of delivery;
    • Social media scams fraudulently seeking donations or claiming to provide stimulus funds if the recipient enters his or her bank account information;
    • Sales of counterfeit or fake testing kits, cures, ‘immunity’ pills, and protective equipment;
    • Fraudulent offers for free COVID-19 testing to obtain Medicare beneficiary information that is used to submit false medical claims for unrelated, unnecessary, or fictitious testing or services.
    • 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 Attorney General has created a task force to address COVID-19-related hoarding and price gouging in the sale of critical and scarce medical supplies, equipment, and materials.  Those materials include respirator masks, medical gloves and cover-alls, ventilators, and certain pharmaceuticals.  The full list of these materials may be found in the Notice from HHS.  This task force intends to investigate and, if necessary, bring charges against any person or company that accumulates an unreasonably amount of any of these materials for their personal use, or accumulates any of these materials for purposes of selling them far above prevailing market prices for those materials.  DOJ is working closely with HHS, FEMA, and state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute illegal hoarding and price gouging.

  • The Justice Department advises the public to be cautious about any emails from unknown senders purporting to offer safety information about the coronavirus and containing a hyperlink. Many such emails contain malicious programming that can harm computers, access user’s personal information, and cause financial harm.

    For example, emails might promise to:

    • Tell you how to protect your friends from COVID-19 if you click a hyperlink
    • Directly connect with you a clinical contact if you reply and pay within a certain timeframe
    • Provide updated information from a health expert via a hyperlink

    You may also receive phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • If you think you might be a victim of a COVID-19 related scam, you can report it without leaving your home though a number of platforms:

    • Call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721

    Submit the NCDF Web Complaint Form

  • The BOP has instituted modified operation procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. These procedures include suspended social visits and tours, suspending inmate movement from facilities except under certain circumstances, screening staff and inmates for COVID-19 and taking various other necessary measures.

    In addition, the Attorney General has granted permission to transfer inmates that are considered high-risk for contracting coronavirus to home confinement, as appropriate, to decrease the risks to their health, based on multiple discretionary factors and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Updated June 16, 2020