By Robert Boczkiewicz


The Pueblo Chieftain


DENVER — Federal authorities announced on Saturday they would investigate and prosecute perpetrators of fraud stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.


"My office and I will be steadfast in protecting the citizens of Colorado at a time when they may be particularly vulnerable to financial scams," Jason Dunn, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, told reporters.


He said some examples of scams include:


· Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online.


· 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 for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.


·  Medical providers fraudulently billing or overcharging for tests and procedures.


To report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus), the public should call the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by e-mailing the NCDF at disaster@leo.gov.


Dunn said his office would work with the FBI; criminal investigators of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Homeland Security department and the Internal Revenue Service; the inspector general's office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; as well as the U.S. Marshals Service, federal courts, and state and local governments.


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