U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas is urging the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via the web at justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm.
In coordination with the Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr has directed U.S. Attorneys to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of Coronavirus fraud schemes. The NCDF Hotline 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.
Some examples of these schemes include:
Anyone selling fake testing kits, treatments, or cures for COVID-19
Websites seeking donations for illegitimate or nonexistent COVID-19 charities
Fraudulent phone calls from individuals posing as health insurers seeking personal information
Phishing emails from entities posing as the CDC or WHO, which may contain malware
Robocalls offering medical supplies with no intent to deliver
Scams claiming to provide economic impact payments (colloquially known as stimulus funds) if consumers input their bank information
Fraudulent medical billing for procedures related to COVID-19
Threats to public officials advocating quarantines
Hoarding or price-gouging of necessary supplies
Threats to intentionally infect individuals with COVID-19
In a memorandum to U.S. Attorneys issued March 19, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen also directed each U.S. Attorney to appoint a Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator to serve as the legal counsel for the federal judicial district on matters relating to the Coronavirus, direct the prosecution of Coronavirus-related crimes, and to conduct outreach and awareness activities. The Northern District of Texas Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator is Assistant U.S. Attorney Fabio Leonardi.
The Northern District of Texas also convened a COVID-19 working group comprised of more than 20 federal, state, and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), IRS - Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, the Department of Education Office of Inspector General, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General's Office.
To find more about Department of Justice resources and information, please visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Other Federal Efforts
This is a primary lane of information for the public regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is a portal for public information that is curated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force at the White House, working in conjunction with CDC, HHS and other agency stakeholders. Coronavirus.gov will link to the appropriate Federal agency website as the authoritative source for that information as necessary.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) landing page on CDC.gov is the latest public health and safety information from CDC and for the overarching medical and health provider community on COVID-19. The site contains consumer and medical information on how the virus spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, stigma, cases and what to do if you are sick, along with frequently asked questions.
Landing page on USA.gov that is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). USA.gov can support both English and Spanish content.