COVID-19 Virus Criminal Activity
COVID-19 related criminal activity is not only morally repugnant, but also, if left unchecked, can inhibit hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals, governmental agencies, and the public from fully implementing measures designed to save lives and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Law Enforcement agencies are prioritizing the deterrence, investigation, and prosecution of wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date across the country, there have been reports of individuals and businesses engaging in a wide range of fraudulent and criminal behavior to include:
- Hoarding and/or price-gouging with regard to critical medical supplies;
- Robocalls making fraudulent offers to sell respirator masks with no intent of delivery;
- Fake COVID-19-related apps and websites that install malware or ransomware;
- Phishing emails asking for money or presenting malware;
- Social media scams fraudulently seeking donations or claiming to provide stimulus funds if the recipient enters his or her bank account number;
- Sales of fake testing kits, cures, “immunity” pills, and protective equipment;
- Fraudulent offers for free COVID-19 testing in order to obtain Medicare beneficiary information that is used to submit false medical claims for unrelated, unnecessary, or fictitious testing or services;
- Prescription drug schemes involving the submission of medical claims for unnecessary antiretroviral treatments or other drugs that are marketed as purported cures for COVID- 19;
- Robberies of patients departing from hospitals or doctor offices;
- Threats of violence against mayors and other public officials;
- Threats to intentionally infect other people; and
- Hate crimes against Asian people.
In this time of National crisis, we are asking for your assistance in identifying individuals and companies that may have engaged in the aforementioned criminal activities or any other activity you deem to be suspicious in relation to the current pandemic. If reported, we will be forwarding the information on to the Department of Justice, who is using every available measure to ensure that those individuals using the current pandemic to take advantage of their fellow citizens are held accountable for their actions.
As always, if you are a victim of any crime in Lower Allen Township, please report the incident at 717-238-9676.