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Home » The Secret Service appoints a senior official to crack down on Covid-19 scams

The Secret Service appoints a senior official to crack down on Covid-19 scams

Roy Dotson, who has spent nearly three decades in law enforcement, will be the agency’s point person working with the Justice Department to help seize stolen COVID-19 recovery funds from major banks and crack down on scammers. .

Dotson told CNN his goal was to “maximize our impact on the investigation” and “recover as much as we can” of the stolen money. He is also the assistant special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s field office in Jacksonville.

The Secret Service says its work has resulted in the seizure of more than $1.2 billion and the recovery of more than $2.3 billion in ill-gotten gains. One hundred people have been arrested.

But the agency still has more than 900 active criminal investigations into financial fraud related to Covid-19. And Dotson said he wants to see more impact from those investigations. This means confiscating the bulk of the stolen funds and putting the biggest fraudsters behind bars with the help of the Justice Department.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career in terms of scale and scope,” Dotson said, referring to financial fraud related to Covid.

It’s part of an ongoing effort, 21 months into the coronavirus pandemic, by U.S. law enforcement officials to prosecute organized crime groups that take out unemployment insurance programs and loans for small businesses. are made.

The news comes as President Joe Biden Omicron is scheduled to give a speech on Tuesday on the recent spike in various coronavirus cases.

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the CARES Act, which became law in March 2020, provided benefits and unemployment loans to millions of Americans, but for criminals seeking help fraudulently. Also open opportunities to exploit programs.

Karen Hassold, a former FBI analyst who is now director of threat intelligence at security firm Abnormal Security, said the CARES Act was “basically a World Series and a Super Bowl of scammers grouped into one”.

“Using platforms like Telegram or WhatsApp, scammers openly share techniques and best practices on how to more effectively send pandemic hoax claims to dedicated channels,” Hassold told CNBC. Told Ann.

Hackers have also taken advantage of the pandemic response to infiltrate the corporate networks of US companies and attempt to scam or spy on these organizations.

Days after news broke of the Omicron variant, alleged Iranian hackers were sending malicious emails mentioning the variant to some US foreign policy experts, according to data email security company Proofpoint shared with CNN. was The company refused to appoint experts.

The hackers were “disguised as a bulletin from a US media outlet” to get their targets to admit it, Sherrod DiGrippo, vice president of investigative and threat detection at Proofpoint, told CNN.

Coping with this piracy is beyond Dotson’s control. But the alleged Iranian…

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