U.S. Attorney Dunn To Lead Federal Effort To Protect Citizens Against Coronavirus Fraud; Urges Public To Report Suspicious Activity
Executive U.S. Attorney J. Chris Larson Appointed as Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator
DENVER – At the direction of United States Attorney General William Barr, United States Attorney Jason Dunn has directed his office to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of any fraud related to the Coronavirus crisis. U.S. Attorney Dunn has also appointed Executive U.S. Attorney J. Chris Larson to serve as the office’s Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator. In that role, EAUSA Larson will serve as the liaison to federal agencies - including the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigation, IRS-CI and Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Marshals - the federal courts, and state and local government. He will also be responsible for conducting outreach and awareness activities within Colorado communities.
“The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office will be vigilant in investigating and prosecuting fraud related to the Coronavirus,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “While this virus may be new to Colorado, fraud is not. My office and I will be steadfast in protecting the citizens of Colorado at a time when they may be particularly vulnerable to financial scams.”
Some examples of these schemes may include:
- Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online;
- 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 for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations; and
- Medical providers fraudulently billing or overcharging for tests and procedures.
To report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus), the public should call the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by e-mailing the NCDF at firstname.lastname@example.org. The NCDF can receive and enter complaints into a centralized system that can be accessed by all U.S. Attorneys, as well as Justice Department litigating and law enforcement components 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.
To find more about Department of Justice resources and information, please visitwww.justice.gov/coronavirus.