The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued guidance on means that criminals are using to exploit COVID-19. These means include:
- Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
- 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 virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
- Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
The DOJ guidance directs victims of fraud to contact various agencies and provides resources on the federal government's efforts to address COVID-19-related risks.
The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. In a memo to U.S. Attorneys, Attorney General Barr said, "The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated."