FTC Coronavirus Fraud Complaints

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FTC says consumers have lost $23 million in coronavirus scams this year

The number has gone up since last month.

May 4, 2020, 11:35 am*

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Monday that consumers have lost more than $23 million from coronavirus-related frauds this year.

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The FTC released updated numbers about complaints, showing that nearly 35,000 people have reported fraud, identity theft, and other complaints to them since the beginning of the year.

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Overall, around $23.3 million has been lost because of coronavirus-related fraud, the agency said.

A large portion of the complaints come from “travel/vacations” which the FTC said is “primarily about refunds and cancellations.” The FTC data shows that the reports have said the fraudsters have been contacting people by phone the most, followed by e-mail, and websites.

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Early last month, the FTC said it had received more than 15,000 fraud complaints regarding the coronavirus this year, with consumers losing around $12 million to scams.

In recent weeks, the FTC has warned of a number of scams including: people buying facemasks on websites and not receiving them; fake coronavirus testing websites that scoop up personal information; and scammers trying to get information about businesses who applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, among others.

Meanwhile, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has recently identified a scam where bad actors are threatening to infect people with coronavirus unless they get paid, according to the Daily Beast.

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*First Published: May 4, 2020, 11:32 am