The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the first court action against a fraudulent COVID-19 website, which claimed to be giving away free coronavirus vaccines. After the DOJ issued a temporary restraining order, the site was taken down. The website had fraudulently offered vaccine kits provided by the World Health Organization for $4.95 shipping, while showing a picture of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in an apparent attempt to add credibility to the site. The DOJ reminded Americans in a statement that there are currently no legitimate COVID-19 vaccines.
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division stated, “[t]he Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain. We will use every resource at the government’s disposal to act quickly to shut down these most despicable of scammers, whether they are defrauding consumers, committing identity theft, or delivering malware.”
Attorney General William P. Barr is urging 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 e-mailing the NCDF at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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