Virus unleashes wave of fraud in US amid fear and scarcity

Virus unleashes wave of fraud in US amid fear and scarcity
Medical supplies needed during COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: Safe Alliance)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say the COVID-19 outbreak has unleashed a wave of fraud.

An arm of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, has opened more than 300 cases in recent weeks that include counterfeit products and medicines as well as fake tests for the virus.

Authorities have also found cases of fraudsters attempting to sell nonexistent masks and other protective equipment to hospitals. One case involves a former investment manager in Georgia who was already facing federal charges for an alleged Ponzi scheme that defrauded 1,000 investors around the country.

Authorities say they expect to open more cases in the coming months.

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