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U.S. Attorney pursuing COVID-19 scammers

National Center for Disaster Fraud hot line: (866) 720-5721
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Posted at 5:26 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 08:45:58-04

MILWAUKEE — We understand how vulnerable people are right now during this health crisis. That is why we are making sure everyone is doing what’s right, and are not trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money.

As part of our Rebound Milwaukee series, we spoke to the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Wisconsin, Matthew Krueger about how they are working to catch these criminals, “Recently, there were indictments out of Nebraska out of Massachusetts, as well where funds made it all the way to Nigeria.”

Attorney Krueger has this message to criminals who are preying on people who live in Wisconsin, “If you're trying to exploit the pandemic for personal gain you do face serious consequences.”

His office has an attorney dedicated to tracking down crooks who are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. Agents with the IRS and Homeland Security are helping them follow the money.

“When we are able to seize it and return it to victims, we do that. So, there are significant law enforcement efforts being put forward combating these scams,” says Attorney Krueger.

As for the open investigations in our area, Krueger could not say. He hinted that Medicare fraudsters are already on their radar.

Here’s his advice for people, “You’re receiving a call or robocall claiming to be Medicare offering a diagnostic test, or offering equipment, that's a scam. Nobody from medicare is going to call you directly.”

Here is your Rebound Rundown:
—Government officials with medicare or the IRS will never contact you by phone.
—Do not click on links to e-mails you do not recognize.
—Hang up on scam calls.
—You can report COVID-19 related scams to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline:
(866) 720-5721
—If you have received a phishing scheme through email, letters or texts you can email that appear to be from or linked to the IRS, you should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

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