News Flash

City of Shenandoah News

Posted on: March 25, 2020

Help for Price Gouging and Fraud During Coronavirus

COVID header pic

The Department of Justice has established a website, tip line and email for reporting price gouging and fraud. The National Center for Disaster Fraud is coordinating the effort and will direct complaints to the appropriate federal and/or state authorities.

In a memo to United States Attorneys, Attorney General Barr stated that “[t]he pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated.”

In addition, 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.

Some examples of these schemes 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 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.

Some examples of reported price gouging  include:

  • Hand sanitizer at $60/bottle or $1/squirt
  • A convenience store selling toilet paper at $10/roll
  • Medical masks at 10 times the normal value
  • $8 thermometers being sold at $25
  • Clorox bleach $8.99/gallon

If you suspect that someone is trying to take advantage of your situation after a natural disaster or if you’ve been victimized, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud (at 866-720-5721 or email Disaster@LEO.gov

Website: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus

National Center for Distaster Fraud website
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