As of the date of this post, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that approximately $12 million were lost to Coronavirus-related scams since January 2020.
There have been more than 16K Coronavirus-related reports from consumers, with a reported median loss of $570.
“Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus,” the FTC said at the time. “They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information.”
Robocalls are also prevalent and prey upon consumer fear of the pandemic to perpetrate scams or disseminate disinformation.
In April, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued an additional warning regarding a surge in coronavirus-related scams over email, social media, and phone calls, with the fraudsters requesting personal info while using economic impact payments as a lure.
In a statement from the IRS, they are urging people to take extra care during this period. They are not going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster.
The IRS specifically reminded us all not to open such emails or click on attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.
In a time where opportunistic scammers are out in roves looking to take advantage of the vulnerable, we need to be more skeptical than ever of any call, email, or text message we get.
Take a look at our Covid-Page for a volume of fact-checked authoratative information about Covid-19.
Have a peak at our ultra-thin and durable Medication-Cards for the wallet.
Justin Groode MD | Co-Founder of PAA