HSI Partners with Industry Experts to Protect Consumers against COVID-19-related Fraud

Washington–Industry experts from Pfizer, 3M, Citi, Alibaba, Amazon and Merck have joined forces with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) criminal investigators in an unprecedented public-private partnership to combat fraud and other illegal activity surrounding COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, HSI and other law enforcement agencies have seen a significant increase in criminals attempting to capitalize and profit from the fear and anxiety surrounding the virus, including the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and illicit online sales and trade importation violations of products claiming to be treatment options.

In April, HSI launched Operation Stolen Promise to prevent and investigate illegal criminal activity surrounding the pandemic, strengthen global supply-chain security and protect the American public.

Operation Stolen Promise combines HSI’s expertise in global trade, financial fraud, international operations and cyber-crime to investigate financial fraud schemes, the importation of prohibited pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, websites defrauding consumers, and any other illicit criminal activities associated with the virus that compromises legitimate trade or financial systems or endangers the public.