The Wyoming Community of Buffalo is the latest in reporting suspected fraud tied to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and the the Department of Justice is advising people to report such attempts.
The Buffalo, Wyoming Police Department released a statement on social media asking people to be vigilant of scams at this time. In addition to a more perennial scam, one is being reported in Buffalo where the caller identifies themself as being from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, Buffalo Police say that they’ve seen numerous suspected scams tied to the pandemic.
“We have also been made aware of numerous scams relating to the Covid-19 virus and anticipate these will increase with the upcoming Federal aid package,” Buffalo PD said. “Please remember: Any aid given to you will not be solicited over the phone. You will not be required to pay money in exchange for money being granted. And as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the Police Department so that we may verify legitimacy if needed.”
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Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice is encouraging people to report scams to the authorities.
“The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General Barr said in a March 16 memo to United States Attorneys.
The Department of Justice website says they are “remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis.”
The DOJ says that persons needing to report a possible scam can contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or reach out with email at email@example.com. Reports may also be made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at tips.fbi.gov.
Online or cyber scams can be reported via the FBI’s Internet Crimes Compliance Center: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
The following information has been published on the U.S. Department of Justice webpage:
Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams. There have been reports of:
-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.
Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.
If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home though a number of platforms. Go to:
Report it to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov
If it’s a cyber scam, submit your complaint through https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspxUS Department of Justice webpage https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus
This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.