Authorities urge public to report COVID-19 scams

Authorities urge public to report COVID-19 scams
Authorities are encouraging the public report scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: Pexels.com)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Authorities are encouraging the public to report scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release from Lance Crick, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of South Carolina, some examples of schemes include:

  • Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud
  • 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 fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations
  • Medical providers obtaining patient information for COVID-19 testing and then using that information to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures

“In these extraordinary times, criminals are taking advantage of the most vulnerable Americans through various COVID-19 phony schemes,” Crick said. “The District of South Carolina, and the Department of Justice, will stay vigilant and will prosecute those who engage in COVID-19 fraud, hoarding, and other scams.”

Suspected fraud can be reported by contacting the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov.

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