WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- DOJ announced that anyone who’ll attempt or threaten to spread the coronavirus in the nation would be accused of terrorism acts.
- The Deputy Attorney General warns that authorities classify coronavirus as a biological threat agent.
- FBI also reported a rise in the number of fraudulent online sellers offering counterfeit products and phishing emails exploiting people over COVID-19 scare.
The U.S Justice Department instructed the country’s federal prosecutors that the act or attempt of spreading, intentionally infecting other people with coronavirus should be charged with a terrorism case.
In a memo issued by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, he said that there is a reason to believe that COVID -19 can be legally classified as a biological agent; thus, crimes committed associated with the virus can be charged under the act of terrorism rulings.
The notice was sent Tuesday to federal law enforcement offices and attorneys across the U.S.
Any attempt or threats to weaponize the coronavirus against Americans will not be tolerated.
Rosen also noted in the memo that there was also a significant rise in common crimes, such as robbery.
Previously, the state of New Jersey has utilized its version of its rulings by indicting a man allegedly committing a terroristic threat by coughing on a Wegmans supermarket staff and saying he has coronavirus.
Similar incidents were also reported by government agencies in Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
Meanwhile, officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said an influx of scammers preying over public anxiety with the coronavirus outbreak by selling deceptive products such as bogus virus treatments, test kits, and personal protective equipment.
The FBI also witnessed a rush of suspicious emails alleging that they have updated info regarding COVID-19 or airline ticket reimbursements, but when clicked, users will be redirected to sites that install malware or phishing software.
The agency also cautioned the public about email scams claiming that it can provide economic package only to get the user’s information. FBI clarified that authorized agencies do not send unsolicited emails that ask the recipient’s data.
Meanwhile, a law enforcement official bulletin also notifies of an alarming increase of phony protective equipment for sale online. The bulletin said upon their review of once e-commerce, they discovered at least a hundred of items being sold were either fake or not yet approved.
The report also showed losses of more than $3.6 million against offers of counterfeit protective suits and respirator masks. Data gathered were based on the reports submitted by distributors, retailers, and buyers.
In some cases, scammers contact their victims and claim there were delays in delivery because of interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.