The Justice Department says it will prosecute anyone who uses methods like price fixing or bid rigging to illegally profit off the coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday, the agency warned individuals and companies against violating U.S. antitrust laws in connection with manufacturing, distributing or selling certain public health products — like face masks and sterile gloves.
Attorney General William Barr said in a statement: "The Department of Justice stands ready to make sure that bad actors do not take advantage of emergency response efforts, healthcare providers, or the American people during this crucial time."
The warning is part of a broader effort to make sure health officials, the private health care sector and the general public are properly equipped to respond to the ongoing outbreak.
The coronavirus has killed at least 26 people in the U.S. and infected more than 750 others. Several have already recovered from the illness. The majority of the deaths are in Washington state.
The DOJ is asking anyone with information on illegal schemes to call the Antitrust Division's Citizen Complaint Center.