(STL.News) – Today, U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich and Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced the formation of the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of local, state and federal investigators and prosecutors with significant experience in handling complaints and cases related to general fraud, heath care fraud, Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud and cybercrime, among others. Together, they will share information and resources to protect Nevadans from those using the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of consumers.
All participating agencies will take information, tips and complaints from the public, as well as other local law enforcement agencies seeking the Task Force’s assistance. The Task Force will share resources to monitor, identify and investigate misconduct most effectively and efficiently as possible.
“Our top priority is protecting Nevadans during this public health crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich. “I am committed to marshalling the full spectrum of capabilities my office and our federal law enforcement partners can bring to support the Task Force’s important mission of protecting our vulnerable populations from fraudsters. I urge citizens to contact the Task Force with information and tips.”
“Sadly, it is all too common for fraudsters to take advantage of the public during times of great distress and hardship,” said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “From day one, I’ve focused on protecting Nevada families and consumers, and I’m proud that my office continues to be on the front lines of fighting fraud and helping Nevadans in need. With a united front, we’re showing fraudsters they have no business taking advantage of Nevadans.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office caution residents to be wary of potential scams such as these:
- Diagnosis Testing Scams: Scammers offer fake COVID-19 testing kits, particularly door-to-door
- Treatment/Cure Scams: Scammers offer fake or unproven treatment regimens that are particularly dangerous because they have the potential to do more harm than good
- Charity Scams: Virtually every time there is a disaster or emergency, scammers set up fake charities to solicit donations that they then spend on themselves
- Overinflated prices: The Task Force will use every tool available to hold sellers accountable who unlawfully use the COVID-19 pandemic to unreasonably inflate prices
- Investment Scams: Scammers make false claims about tests, cures and other matters related to COVID-19 in order to entice victims to make investment decisions based on those false claims that allow the scammer to steal money and assets from Nevadans
- Cyber Scams: Scammers send victims emails related to COVID-19 that appear to be from the victims’ banks, health care providers, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others for the purpose of obtaining the victims’ personal identifying information and exploiting it for the scammers’ own benefit
- App Scams: Scammers are creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of COVID-19 to insert malware that will compromise users’ devices and personal information
- Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Medicaid Fraud: Businesses and government agencies are not immune to scams. They should also be vigilant to ensure scammers do not take advantage of their businesses or customers during this pandemic
- Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Check): Scammers pretend to be government officials offering false economic impact payments (stimulus checks) in order to obtain personal identifying information including social security and bank account numbers