Scams/Fraud/Violations

Protect yourself, your neighbors, and the community by notifying the appropriate agency(ies) if you are made aware of suspected fraudulent activities, or if you observe violations of active City, County, State, or Federal orders during the COVID-19 crisis.

Visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website for details of numerous scams and frauds known to be active in Los Angeles County.

Fraud

To report any fraud related to COVID-19, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or e-mail Disaster@LEO.gov

Scams

Whenever there is a health crisis, scammers quickly find ways to cheat people out of money. During the coronavirus pandemic, scammers are using robocalls, social media posts, and emails to take advantage of fear, anxiety, and confusion about COVID-19. Criminals are selling things that don’t work, charging money for things that are free, and stealing personal information. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

  • The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept (LASD) Fraud & Cyber Crimes Bureau has seen an increase in online scams, phishing, and hacking attempts related to COVID-19. Criminals use fake emails or texts to get individuals to share valuable personal information, such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, or login IDs and passwords. LASD advises individuals: Do not click on unknown links, either from your cell phone or your computer; instead, go to trusted websites by typing in the URL yourself.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also warns the public to beware of illegal robocalls that pitch Coronavirus treatments and at-home remedies.The FTC advises the public to: Hang up on robocalls; Fact check articles and advertisements; Buy from known online sellers; Do not respond to texts and emails about receiving checks from the government; Ignore online offers for vaccinations. Do your research on charities and non-profits before donating. If you feel you have been a victim of an illegal robocall, file a complaint at FTCcomplaintAssistant.gov.

Violations of Active Orders/Restrictions

Stay at Home Orders

To report violations of Stay at Home and other related orders, call the Los Angeles County Dept of Public Health’s Customer Call Center at 888-700-9995 between 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, email: EHmail@PH.LACounty.gov, or file an online complaint with the Los Angeles County Dept of Environmental Health.

Social/Physical Distancing

  • Construction Sites: Violations of orders requiring physical distancing (maintaining six feet between individuals) apply to workers on construction sites. Violations can be reported to the City’s Environmental Sustainability Dept (ESD) by calling 310-456-2489, ext. 390 or email MBuilding@malibucity.org.
  • Gatherings: State and County orders are in place prohibiting all gatherings of any size, public or private, indoors or outdoors. Should you observe any violations of this order, contact the City’s Code Enforcement Office at 310-456-2489, ext. 484 or email DCleavenger@MalibuCity.org

Price Gouging

California’s anti-price gouging statute, Penal Code Section 396, prohibits raising the price of many consumer goods and services by more than 10% after an emergency has been declared. Anyone who has been the victim of price gouging, or who has information regarding potential price gouging, is encouraged to immediately file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by going to the Attorney General’s website or by calling 800-952-5225.

If you believe that you have been a victim of price gouging or you suspect a business is price gouging, you cal also contact the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at 800-593-8222.