U.S. Attorney Drew H. Wrigley of the District of North Dakota is urging the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline: 1-866- 720-5721 or to the NCDF e-mail address: email@example.com.
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.
“Federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement entities are fully engaged, working together and determined to detect, stop and aggressively prosecute those who use this international health crisis to defraud the American people or institutions,” said Wrigley, “we will be relentless.”
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem released a statement Thursday to beware of the fraud schemes as well.
Some examples of these schemes include individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online; 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; and medical providers obtaining patient information for COVID-19 testing and then using that information to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures.
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 District of North Dakota Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator is Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Greenley.