U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling Issues Stern Warning Regarding Scams and Other Crimes Related to the Covid-19 Outbreak

The US Attorney for Boston said on March 19 the federal government would prosecute any and all scams related to the pandemic – including treatment scams and investment scams that have popped up recently.

“As our communities take extraordinary measures to confront the coronavirus outbreak, some may view this as an opportunity to prey on the public’s fears and anxieties.  The Department of Justice is now focused on cybercrime, sale of counterfeit goods, treatment scams and other healthcare and investment scams arising from the pandemic.  My office will aggressively prosecute anyone engaged in this kind of activity,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.

“With the outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found a platform that preys on people’s fears and could make them more likely to be victimized,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “We want you to avoid falling prey to these scams and help us stop them by reporting it at ic3.gov.”

Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the United States Attorney’s Office at [email protected] or  call 1-888-221-6023 and leave a message.  Members of the public can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting www.IC3.gov.  If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.

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