Minnesota COVID-19 Action Team created to focus on crimes connected to pandemic

Minnesota leaders announced the creation of the Minnesota COVID-19 Action Team, which will focus on investigating and prosecuting unlawful activity connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison made the announcement Monday. The team, called MCAT, is urging people to report unlawful activity such as scams, price gouging, cybercrimes or hate crimes.

“Together, we are living through an extremely challenging and unprecedented time," said U.S. Attorney MacDonald in a statement. "Unfortunately, there are bad actors who seek to exploit these challenges by preying on vulnerable individuals for a quick financial profit, launching a myriad of insidious cyber scams, or carrying out bias-motivated acts of violence. This type of criminal activity is reprehensible and will not go unpunished."

"[F]or those who are profiteering off the pandemic or using it as a pretext to attack other people — we’re not standing for it," Attorney General Ellison said in a press release. "We’re pooling all our resources to come after them and to help all other Minnesotans afford their lives and live with dignity and respect."

The Attorney General's Office now has an online form to report COVID-19-specific complaints.

Those with concerns or complaints can call the Attorney General's office at (651)296-3353 or (800)657-3787.