LOS ANGELES – Federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are asking people to be vigilant and report scams or incidents of false advertising for products related to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our primary goal is to maintain safety and security across the seven counties we serve,” United States Attorney Nick Hanna said. “Even as we come together as a nation to deal with the threat of COVID-19, there are individuals among us and across the globe who are attempting to use this crisis as an opportunity to exploit our fears and take advantage of our generosity.”
Hanna said he has appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Johns to be the office’s coronavirus fraud coordinator.
In addition to scams, federal prosecutors are looking to apprehend people who distribute ransomware from malicious websites and apps that promise to share coronavirus-related information, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District, which is the largest in the country.
The Central District office serves a district of seven counties, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura, with a population that is also the largest of any district in the nation.
Members of the public are also asked to report suspected fraud schemes related to the coronavirus and COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or sending complaints to the NCDF email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.