FTC outlines prominent coronavirus scam statistics


Internet scam. (Mohamed Hassan / Pixabay)

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission released statistics on coronavirus scams. So far in 2020, people reported losing $13.44 million dollars to COVID-19 fraud.

Besides bogus cures and treatments during the coronavirus pandemic, the FTC has also encountered ecommerce sites selling personal protective equipment that never arrives once ordered, and texts, emails, and calls from phony government agencies promising to help with relief money. Other possible fraud examples include problems getting money back for travel plans.

If you’re getting calls, emails, texts, or online offers, remember that the government does not call people to ask for your personal information or money, especially via Western Union or Money Gram. The FTC says no government agency or legitimate business operates that way.

Also on Wednesday, the FTC launched two interactive tools detailing consumer fraud reports.

The interactive dashboards describe international complaints submitted by consumers. They include data like the top consumer complaints, total reported losses, and the worst locations for fraud.

Between the two dashboards, consumers reported international scams worth over $276.5 million in 2019, with online shopping issues topping the lists of complaints.

The top complaints are about travel, online shopping, bogus messages, and all kinds of imposters. Callers pretend to be from the government or make illegal medical or health care pitches.

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