Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office Seizes Two Domains In An Attempt To Mimic Walmart Website And Claim To Sell Drug For Experimental, Unapproved Treatment Or Prevention Of Covid-19 | USAO-MD
Baltimore, Maryland – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland Seized “”http://pharmacywalmart.com“and”https://stromectol-ivermectin.com“Which on June 16, 2021 decided to”https://en.pharmacywalmart.com/buy-stromectol-usa.html. “The websites contained many uses of the legitimate Walmart brand logo and appear
s in an attempt to imitate a legitimate Walmart website. Fraudulent websites are said to be offering a number of drugs for sale for the experimental and unapproved treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Instead, the domains would have been used to collect the personal information of people visiting the sites in order to use the information for malicious purposes, including fraud, phishing attacks and / or the deployment of malware. People visiting the sites will now see a message stating that the site has been seized by the federal government and will be redirected to another site for additional information. These are the 12e and 13e COVID fraud-related domain name seized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland and HSI.
The seizure of the domain name was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations James R. Mancuso – Baltimore.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the seizure, the HSI Intellectual Property Rights Center (“IPRC”) and the HSI Cyber Crimes Center (“C3”) discovered an apparently fraudulent website named “https://stromectol-ivermectin.comwhich resolved into an internal web page of “pharmacywalmart.com.” A domain analysis conducted by HSI indicated that pharmaciewalmart.com was created on November 4, 2019 from a registrant located in Russia.
HSI’s Cyber Operations Manager (COO) noted the phone number “+1 718 475-90-88” on the pharmaciewalmart.com website. Although the location of the area code for this number is New York City, the format provided does not match that of a typical United States telephone number. Pharmacywalmart.com claims to offer a number of drugs for sale, including Stromectol (Ivermectin), Aralen (Chloroquine) and Kaletra (Lopinavir and Ritonavir), for the experimental and unapproved treatment or prevention of COVID-19. .
As detailed in the affidavit filed in support of the seizure, Stromectol is the brand name for ivermectin which is a prescription drug used to treat certain parasitic infections; Aralen is a brand name for chloroquine, most commonly used for the treatment and prevention of malaria; and Kaletra is the brand name for a combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir, which are prescription drugs approved to treat human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). None of these drugs are a preventative or an approved treatment for COVID-19. On the page offering Kaletra for sale, the subject’s domain name contained the following: “In 2020, after laboratory research, it was discovered that Kaletra shows positive results in blocking a COVID- viral replication. 19. The affidavit alleges that this statement is not supported by trials or by the FDA.
Neither domain name is authorized by Walmart to use its intellectual property or offer its products for sale. By seizing the sites, the government prevented third parties from acquiring the names and using them to commit other crimes, as well as continuing to access the sites in their current form.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Ministry’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Enforcement (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF online complaint form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Acting US Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised HSI for its work in this investigation. Mr Lenzner thanked the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Criminal Investigations Office, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their assistance and thanked the Deputy U.S. Prosecutors. Aaron SJ Zelinsky and Sean R. Delaney, who are handling the case.
For more information on the Maryland US Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao/md.
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