Baltimore, Maryland – The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Maryland has seized “remdesivirmx.com,” which presupposed to promote and distribute Remdesivir, an antiviral drug permitted for the therapy of the COVID-19 virus, in Mexico. Nevertheless, the web site was fraudulent and as a substitute seems to have been used to gather the non-public data of people visiting the positioning, so as to use the knowledge for nefarious functions, together with fraud, phishing assaults, and/or deployment of malware. People visiting the positioning now will see a message that the positioning has been seized by the federal authorities and be redirected to a different website for extra data.
The seizure of the area identify was introduced by Performing United States Lawyer for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Particular Agent in Cost James R. Mancuso of Homeland Safety Investigations – Baltimore.
“I urge residents to stay vigilant. Don’t present private data or click on on web sites or hyperlinks contained in unsolicited e-mails. Don’t develop into a sufferer,” stated Performing U.S. Lawyer Jonathan F. Lenzner. “My workplace and your complete legislation enforcement group will proceed to do all the things potential to deliver to justice fraudsters who prey on residents throughout this unprecedented public well being disaster.”
“That is the fourth COVID-related web site seizure in Maryland and clearly demonstrates that fraudsters are motivated and actively making an attempt to reap the benefits of Marylanders throughout a difficult time,” stated Particular Agent in Cost James Mancuso. “Bear in mind, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Use excessive warning on the web, particularly because it pertains to COVID-19 remedies, vaccines, or monetary aid.”
Based on the affidavit filed in help of the seizures, Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. and marketed underneath the model identify Veklury, was permitted by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration for the therapy of COVID-19 in October 2020. The HSI Mental Property Rights Heart (“IPRC”) and the HSI Cyber Crimes Heart (“C3”) found an obvious fraudulent web site, named “remdesivirmx.com.” A site evaluation carried out by an HSI Cyber Operations Officer (“COO”) indicated the topic area identify was created on February 4, 2021, by an organization positioned in Lithuania, with no private data for the registrar listed. The COO additionally reviewed the topic area identify’s on-line content material and located it displayed the identify and trademarked logos for Gilead and contained an incorrect spelling of Remdesivir. The contact data offered by the topic area identify listed a Mexican phone quantity and an tackle related to a Mexican telemarketing web site.
The “remdesivirmx.com” web site is the fourth such fraudulent website searching for to use the COVID-19 pandemic that the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Maryland has seized and disrupted in latest months. Different such efforts embrace:
On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Maryland seized a fraudulent replication of the web site of a biotechnology firm primarily based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that focuses on drug discovery, drug improvement, and vaccine applied sciences, together with a vaccine for COVID-19. The faux area, modernatx.store, included a hyperlink providing to promote COVID-19 vaccines. Three males have been subsequently charged with a scheme to allegedly promote purported COVID-19 vaccines.
On December 18, 2020, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Maryland seized two domains, “mordernatx.com” and “regeneronmedicals.com,” which presupposed to be the web sites of precise biotechnology corporations growing remedies for the COVID-19 virus, however seem to have as a substitute been used to gather the non-public data of people visiting the websites.
The seizure of those 4 websites by the federal government has prevented third events from buying the names and utilizing them to commit extra crimes, in addition to prevented third events from persevering with to entry the fraudulent websites of their current type.
Federal legislation enforcement companies are united in our efforts to battle in opposition to COVID-19 fraud. HSI has recognized tips to acknowledge and report COVID-19 fraud. When you consider you’re a sufferer of a fraud or tried fraud involving COVID-19, you might also name the Nationwide Heart for Catastrophe Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or for extra data e-mail justice.gov/coronavirus.
Performing United States Lawyer Jonathan F. Lenzner recommended HSI for its work in these investigations. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron S.J. Zelinsky and Sean R. Delaney, who’re dealing with the case.
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