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Press Release

USNCB Alerts U.S. Partners to Potential COVID Fraud

For Immediate Release
INTERPOL Washington
INTERPOL Orange Notice graphic
Image Courtesy INTERPOL.

INTERPOL Washington, the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB), is working closely with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to ensure that our U.S. law enforcement partners receive critical COVID-19 pandemic-related alerts in a timely manner. Recently, INTERPOL issued a world-wide alert warning of criminal activity associated with the pandemic. Distributed as an “Orange Notice” to law enforcement agencies in its 194 member countries, this alert identifies new criminal activity related to falsifying, stealing, and illegally advertising COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccines. INTERPOL issues Orange Notices to warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

The USNCB ensures that our state and local law enforcement partners have access to the most current alerts and warnings from INTERPOL that could impact U.S. citizens. The USNCB’s active and continuous dissemination of information on threats identified by other INTERPOL member countries to these and other relevant U.S. Government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, reinforces the value, reach, and efficiency of the USNCB’s outreach framework across all jurisdictional levels.

“The potential for counterfeit vaccines as well as fraudulent and unsafe personal protective equipment (PPE) to be distributed within the United States poses significant risks to first responders, law enforcement officers, vulnerable populations, and the general public. The USNCB has a longstanding commitment to providing state, local, federal and tribal authorities with direct access to INTERPOL data related to emerging threats to public safety. That commitment has been reaffirmed and strengthened during the worldwide pandemic,” said USNCB Director Uttam Dhillon.

The USNCB is also emphasizing INTERPOL’s advice to the general public to be cautious when seeking to purchase medical equipment or medicines, especially when those products are pandemic-related. “Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives,” warned INTERPOL General Secretary Jürgen Stock in an INTERPOL news release.

A component of the U.S. Department of Justice, the USNCB is the designated United States representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General. It serves as the national point of contact for all INTERPOL matters, coordinating international investigative efforts among member countries and the more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States.

Updated December 11, 2020