Richmond Times Dispatch – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a statement Wednesday warning that fraudsters are setting up websites, contacting people by phone and email, and posting disinformation on social media platforms in scams linked to COVID-19.
The schemes include:
– scammers offering to sell fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19;
– scammers creating fake shops, websites, social media accounts, and email addresses claiming to sell medical supplies currently in high demand, such as surgical masks;
– scammers contacting people by phone and email, pretending to be doctors and hospitals that have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19, and demanding payment for that treatment;
– and scammers soliciting donations for individuals, groups, and areas affected by COVID-19.
“Fraudsters frequently prey upon vulnerable individuals during difficult times,” G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “Today, as our communities take important steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are working closely with our law enforcement partners to guard against fraudulent pandemic profiteers, as well as to ensure the rule of law and public safety is not eroded during this critical time.”