The U.S. Attorney’s Office has established a South Carolina COVID Strike Team to investigate and prosecute fraud schemes, hoarding and price gouging across the state.
The team, announced in a news release today, will be powered by officers from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and members of the S.C. Attorney General and U.S. Attorney’s offices. Assistance will be provided by the IRS, FBI, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with local law enforcement.
U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy Jr. said the team, which received leads almost immediately after inception, has already begun responding to potential cases of fraud, hoarding and price gouging across the state.
Cases include fake COVID-19 testing, hoarding of personal protective medical equipment and scams related to upcoming economic impact payments, according to the release.
“It is a sad truth that criminals are always willing to take advantage of every opportunity to prey on the most vulnerable,” McCoy said in the release. “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.”
To report suspected fraud or price gouging, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or email [email protected].p