Scams Are So Bad The FTC Made A Bingo Card

Things have gotten so bad that the FTC has experimented with other ways to get people to pay attention: like a scam bingo card.  So far in 2020, the FTC has seen 7,800 Coronavirus complaints as of April 1, 2020.  As soon as Government restrictions were put into place the scam complaints were coming in at several thousand per week.
Most of the country in quarantine advised to practice social distancing measures, the risk of scams has spiked. Already, Coronavirus related robocalls have gotten worse as scammers have pivoted to use fear and isolation to their advantage.

The FTC has already slapped companies on the wrist for misrepresenting products with false claims about how they can treat coronavirus. It has also warned nine internet phone companies (VoIP) to stop “assisting and facilitating” illegal coronavirus telemarketing.

 However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg of robocalls and malware — two of the most critical vectors for scammers and fraudsters targeting individuals, according to the ID Theft Center.

The FTC’s current data say that total losses are around $4.77 million, with a reported median loss of $598.

Aristides Pereira, a spokesperson for the District of Columbia, told Yahoo Finance, that the District’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking has found 14 cases of fraudulent financial activity related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people – especially older Americans, who are more likely to be scammed – don’t report fraud because they’re embarrassed they got duped. So these numbers are likely to be far higher.

There are all sorts of frauds from “banks,” “governments,” and more. It’s even more complicated because some municipalities use robocalls to get information to their residents, like school closings. But there are a few things to know when it comes to money-related things.

Here are some tips:
  • No bank will ever call you or email you for information.
  • Don’t send money to someone else if someone sends you money and asks you to pass it on.
  • Don’t be a victim to “urgent” requests.  Evaluate & think before you act 
  • Only transact with businesses you trust.
  • Report fraud.

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