Statement from United States Attorney Mike Stuart Regarding COVID-19
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart issued the following statement regarding the continuity of office operations and defending against scams relating to the COVID-19 pandemic:
“My office is following the guidance of Attorney General Barr, which makes it clear that the critical mission of the Department of Justice continues. All office locations (Charleston, Huntington and Beckley) remain open and members of my team are continuing the administration of justice, enforcement of the Rule of Law, and the protection and safety of the people of West Virginia. I am grateful for the commitment and dedication of my team and our law enforcement partners during this unprecedented time. I am doing all I can to protect the health and safety of my team even as we continue with the critical mission of ensuring the health and safety of the people of West Virginia.
It is an absolute priority for me and my team to detect, investigate and prosecute all criminal conduct related to the pandemic. Citizens should remain vigilant -- scammers & fraudsters never let an opportunity to scam and defraud go to waste. Fraud against our seniors or against consumers is despicable -- especially when it is intended to take advantage of the natural fear and anxiety of a National Emergency and the COVID-19 situation. When it comes to the COVID-19 situation, whether it’s a fake “charitable” cause or a fake “cure,” don’t be duped. Use common sense, never give out your personal info, banking info or Social Security number, and never buy a gift card because someone wants paid “right now.” If you’re confused or unsure, you should consult a friend or family member, and if you suspect fraud, report it to law enforcement and the FTC at consumer.ftc.gov. If you are aware of such misconduct, please notify law enforcement as quickly as possible. My office will be working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure that all appropriate enforcement tools are made available to punish wrongdoers.”