US: $145 Million Stolen in Pandemic-Related Scams Since January

Published September 23rd, 2020 - 10:00 GMT
US: $145 Million Stolen in Pandemic-Related Scams Since January
Over 205,000 reports of fraud have been filed by the victims of the scams since the beginning of 2020 - average losses were around $300. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
The fraudulent operations targeted those waiting to receive stimulus relief, unemployment benefits as well as treatment for coronavirus infections.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Americans have collectively been swindled out of $145 million in various scams related to COVID-19, according to CNBC citing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data.


Over 205,000 reports of fraud have been filed by the victims of the scams since the beginning of 2020 - average losses were around $300. Senior victims, however, lost more than twice that, averaging around $655.

 

Peak number of fraudulent daily cases in April and May totaled around 1,000, today that number sits at around 200 - however, it should be noted that these are only reported instances, whereas the figure is likely much higher with those wishing not to report.

The fraudulent operations targeted those waiting to receive stimulus relief, unemployment benefits as well as treatment for coronavirus infections.

"While people are scared about their health and finances, con artists are having a field day," said consumer Program Associate at the US PIRG Education Fund Lucy Baker, according to CNBC.

"We all need to be on our guard," Baker said, according to CNBC. "Before you click, pause first. Do your research and ask yourself if that website, email, text, direct message or call is legit. Be wary of handing over your money or personal information."


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