It was perhaps only a matter of time. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced it is pursuing legal action in federal court against a fraudulent website allegedly taking part in a wire fraud scheme that aims to benefit from the uncertainty and widespread fear associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The action follows the DOJ decision to place illegal conduct associated with COVID-19 as a major priority to detect, investigate, and prosecute.
By paying a shipping charge of $4.95 using their credit card information, the fraudulent website was claiming to provide consumers access to World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine kits. However, such kits do not exist nor are they being distributed by the WHO.
The United States filed the expected suit recently to shut down the website right away while the website and its operators are being investigated. In doing so, the government uses a federal provision that requires federal courts to impose injunctions to prevent potential victims of fraudulent schemes from being affected.