Nevada’s U.S. Attorney and FBI director issued a joint warning Monday about various fraud schemes surfacing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
A week after U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich appointed a special prosecutor to lead fraud investigations related to the pandemic, he and FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse said scammers have started to defraud people during the public health emergency.
“They are setting up websites, contacting people by phone and email, and posting disinformation on social media platforms,” a Department of Justice news release stated.
The scams range from offering phony testing for cash to promoting and selling fake vaccines to bogus supply shops and charities.
Trutanich and Rouse urged the public to verify companies, charities or individuals and be wary of unsolicited contact regarding the virus.
Last week, Trutanich said that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie Mickelson would help prevent fraud schemes in Nevada.
The DOJ also announced on Monday that a federal court in Texas had issued a temporary restraining order against the operators of a website aimed at profiting from the outbreak with a claim of access to a World Health Organization coronavirus vaccine, which does not exist.
The first order aimed at virus fraud targeted coronavirusmedicalkit.com, which offered vaccine kits for a $4.95 shipping fee.
“The Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said in the announcement.