100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL
— press release
RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina today urged the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
“As our health care professionals and first responders work tirelessly to defeat COVID-19, we can be certain that criminals will attempt to profit from the fears of the public and will take advantage of this dangerous pandemic for their personal gain. The Department of Justice is committed to detecting, investigating, and aggressively prosecuting those who commit this wrongdoing. As we fight to address COVID-19 related fraud that is unfortunately emerging across the country – we want to raise awareness and forewarn those who might otherwise fall victim to these scams,” said United States Attorney Higdon.
Some examples of these schemes include:
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 Eastern District of North Carolina’s Fraud Coordinator is Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes.
The NCDF 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. The NCDF coordinates complaints with 16 additional federal law enforcement agencies, as well as state Attorneys General and local authorities.
To find more about Department of Justice resources and information, please visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.