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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Beware of Scammers Still Looking to Profit from Coronavirus

NOTE:  This press release has been updated with additional information since its original release (4-29-20) to provide a link to a new online COVID-19 Fraud reporting form and an updated downloadable pamphlet reflecting this change.

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma reminds everyone that even as we begin moving toward resumption of normal lives, fraudsters will continue their schemes to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The best defense is to remain vigilant knowing there are a number of methods criminals will try to profit at your expense. The United States Attorneys for the Eastern, Western and Northern Districts are partnering with the Oklahoma Attorney General to identify, investigate, and prosecute fraud related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in Oklahoma.

“Attorney General Barr has instructed U.S. Attorneys to make it a priority to investigate and stop coronavirus fraud, and we will continue to do so even while Oklahomans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We would also like to stop fraud before it happens by reminding everyone to watch for scams and exercise caution accordingly,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “If you have been a victim or you suspect someone has attempted to defraud you or a family member, please report it. Information you provide may help to put an end to a criminal’s scheme before additional victims fall prey.”

The best protection from becoming a victim is being informed. Examples of COVID-19 fraud include: economic impact scams, supply scams, provider scams, charity scams, phishing scams, mobile app scams, investment scams, price gouging and unemployment fraud. Attached is a COVID-19 Fraud Tri-Fold Brochure that discusses these types of fraud, details specific ways you can protect yourself from COVID-19 fraud, as well as what to do if you suspect you have become the victim of fraud.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We urge you: don’t fall victim to these frauds. If you have, please report COVID-19 fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline by phone at (866) 720-5721 or via an online reporting form available at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/webform/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.  You may also report fraud to the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit by phone at (405) 521-2029 or by email at consumerprotection@oag.ok.gov.  You can also find this press release and more on our webpage at www.justice.gov/usao-edok or via Twitter at @USAO_EDOK.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Elder Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Community Outreach
Consumer Protection
Cyber Crime
Disaster Fraud
Financial Fraud
Health Care Fraud
Identity Theft
Indian Country Law and Justice
Tax
Updated May 4, 2020