COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina has set up a special strike team focused on Coronavirus fraud schemes, hoarding, and price gouging.
U.S. Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. said the team is made up of members with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, federal law enforcement officers, officers with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and members of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
McCoy laid out the language scammers may use such as, “Hey, I’ve got test kits that are out here, send me your information and send me this much money and we’ll send you the kit.”
It’s important to understand the FDA has not approved an at-home coronavirus test and there is no vaccine yet.
McCoy also says scammers try to sell in-demand products like hand sanitizer and masks that they do not actually have.
“It is a sad truth that criminals are always willing to take advantage of every opportunity to prey on the most vulnerable,” he said. “In these unprecedented times, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal, state, and local partners remain vigilant, and we will prosecute those who take advantage of Americans during this pandemic.”
McCoy said the Strike Team began receiving, and responding to, leads related to Coronavirus activity almost immediately after standing up.
You can report suspected fraud and price gouging related to the Coronavirus by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or to the NCDF e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.