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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office on alert for fraud allegations regarding COVID-19

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Joining with law enforcement to investigate cyber threats such as phishing and malware as well as other frauds related to virus fear

Seattle – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is asking our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to be alert to frauds preying on those concerned about COVID-19. 

“In a time of high stress and fear it is critical that for the public to know that law enforcement at all levels remains dedicated to  protecting them from harm  – whether it is from scams, frauds or violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “As Attorney General Barr has directed, we will remain vigilant in detecting, investigating and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis.  To those who are engaged in perpetrating these schemes, you are on notice that my office will aggressively pursue you and hold you to answer for preying on our communities.”      

The Western District of Washington has extensive expertise in cybercrime and is already monitoring issues related to phishing attempts and efforts to infect emails, links and postings with malware.  Members of the public need to be wary of emails or online posts that could be infected with malware that could then infect their electronic devices and steal personal and financial information.

“The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General William Barr said in his communication to the U.S. Attorneys.

If you or someone you know believe you’ve been the target or victim of an outbreak-related fraud scheme, please contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated March 18, 2020

Community Outreach
Consumer Protection
Disaster Fraud