Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office Seizes Domain Name Purporting to be the Website of the U.S. Department of Labor
Baltimore, MD (STL.News) The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has seized “US-dolbids.com” which purported to be the official website for the United States Department of Labor.
The seizure of the domain was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cooper of the Division of Advanced Technology and Analytics, U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the seizure, the domain US-dolbids.com claimed to be the official website of the U.S. Department of Labor and claimed to accept bids from potential contractors for ongoing government projects. In order to bid for a purported government contract, the fraudulent domain instructed users to log into a portal with the user’s email address and password. In reality, the website intended to steal a user’s email login credentials for nefarious purposes and financial gain. Additionally, the domain mimicked stylistic designs and language as the authentic U.S. Department of Labor website, including a purported link providing “Coronavirus Resources” for “responding to COVID-19.”
Individuals visiting the site now will see a message that the site has been seized by the federal government and be redirected to another site for additional information.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the U.S. Department of Labor- Office of Inspector General, HSI, the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Baltimore City Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron S.J. Zelinsky and Sean Delaney, who are prosecuting the case.