U.S. federal prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against a website that provides a fraudulent new coronavirus vaccine and won a temporary restraining order,media outlet TechCrunch reported. The U.S. Department of Justice said it was the first law enforcement action related to the pandemic. The Justice Department said in a statement that the lawsuit was filed against a website that is said to be engaged in wire fraud schemes aimed at “profiting from the chaos and widespread fear surrounding COVID-19.”
The website claims that the World Health Organization (WHO) “gave away vaccine kits” to unsuspecting victims who paid a small amount for transportation. The website asks for credit card information for the victim. “In fact, there is currently no legal COVID-19 vaccine and the World Health Organization has not distributed it,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the site’s owner, but did not provide the name of the site’s owner. The command also requires Namecheap, the site’s domain hosting provider, to take the site offline. A spokesman for Namecheap did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said: “The Ministry of Justice will not tolerate crimes committed under this state of emergency for personal gain. We will use all the resources at the disposal of the government to act quickly to crack down on these meanest scammers, whether they are deceiving consumers, identity theft or spreading malware. “
So far, there are more than 300,000 confirmed cases of new coronavirus worldwide. However, the actual number of infections worldwide is said to be much higher as some government authorities continue to lack testing equipment.
As of Friday, about 80 million Americans, including California, New York and Illinois, were affected by the “blocking” of the disease to limit the spread of the respiratory disease. The spread of the virus has also prompted the United States and Canada to agree to close the northern border. In addition, the United States announced the closure of the U.S.-Mexico border to restrict all “non-essential travel.”
On Thursday, the United States issued the highest-level security warning, asking Americans to stop traveling around the world.