“Coronavirus scams spreading as fraudsters follow the headlines”
by John Waggoner and Andy Markowitz
“Coronavirus scams are spreading nearly as fast as the virus itself. As of Jan. 12, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had logged more than 324,000 consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments, 69 percent of them involving fraud or identity theft. Victims have reported losing $307 million, with a median loss of $305.
Fraudsters are using the full suite of scam tools — phishing emails and texts, bogus social media posts, robocalls, impostor schemes and more — and closely following the headlines, adapting their messages and tactics as new medical and economic issues arise.
For example, with the government granting emergency authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccines, federal and state agencies are warning of a flood of vaccine scams, with phony websites and email campaigns promising easy and early access to coronavirus shots. Authorities also anticipate a fresh wave of stimulus scams with Congress approving new rounds of relief payments, enhanced unemployment benefits and small business loans.
Here are some coronavirus scams scams to look out for. Click to keep reading this article.