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Citi helps US govt tackle Covid-19-related fraud

Citi helps US govt tackle Covid-19-related fraud

Citi, Alibaba and Amazon are among the firms working with the US government on an effort to thwart Covid-19-related fraud.

Crooks are exploiting fear surrounding the pandemic, using a plethora of scams to dupe people into handing over financial information and into buying fake drugs and PPE.

Today, the UK's Inland Revenue revealed that it has formally asked Internet Service Providers to remove 292 scam web addresses exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak since 23rd March.

Over the pond, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) has joined forces with private companies to tackle scammers attempting to capitalise and profit from the fear and anxiety surrounding the virus.

Industry experts from Citi, Pfizer, 3M, Alibaba, Amazon and Merck have been tapped to take on the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and illicit online sales and trade importation violations of products claiming to be treatment options.

So far, HSI special agents have opened over 315 investigations nationwide, seized over $3.2 million dollars in illicit proceeds, made 11 arrests, executed 21 search warrants, and analysed over 19,000 Covid-19 domain names.

Michael Corbat, CEO, Citi, says: “Unfortunately, the need to combat this type of activity only increases in a crisis like this so we are appreciative of this collaborative effort organized by the IPR Center and determined to continue to do our part.”

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