TOPEKA – (April 1, 2020) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister today announced a state-federal partnership to investigate and prosecute scammers attempting to prey on Kansans during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The two offices agree coordinating information and manpower will allow the agencies to more quickly verify allegations and prosecute those who are profiteering off the crisis.
“This partnership will allow our two agencies to bring the maximum state and federal resources to bear to stop scams, frauds and price gouging during this state of emergency,” Schmidt said. “I appreciate Steve’s strong leadership in the U.S. attorney’s office and look forward to working closely with his team to protect Kansans in the face of this crisis.”
The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division will work directly with two prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office designated for handling COVID-19-related matters.
“Nationally, we have seen everything from people offering for sale respiratory masks they were not going to deliver to people seeking donations for non-existent COVID-19 charities,” McAllister said. “We are not going to stand by while that happens in Kansas.”
Anyone with information about COVID-19-related scams or price gouging should file a complaint with the attorney general’s office online on a form specifically designed for coronavirus issues, available along with other resources about the state’s response to the outbreak, at http://www.ag.ks.gov. Kansans may also call the attorney general’s consumer protection hotline at (800) 432-2310 to request a paper complaint form be sent by mail.
Complaints can also be submitted to the U.S. attorney’s office by email at USAKS.Covid.Fraud@usdoj.gov or by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at (866) 720-5721.