Coronavirus fraud potential out there, warns federal prosecutor

SSA Fraud

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Anyone who encounters potential coronavirus fraud is urged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York to call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721) or email

Potential examples 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.
  • Medical providers obtaining patient information for COVID-19 testing and then using that information to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures

My message to those who seek to exploit the pandemic for their own personal gain by stealing others’ money, or identity, or both, is simple.

“We have a treatment for you and that treatment includes prosecution and federal prison. While others may get sick from the virus, most will recover. Sadly, I am not so sure these predators will ever recover from their affliction—as it seems to have rotted their hearts and souls.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy

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