Scammers target stimulus checks and small businesses seeking financial assistance with fake COVID-19 vaccines.
In the period January – April 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 18,000 complaints regarding scams related to the Coronavirus, resulting in losses of about $9 million.
FTC and FDA have issued warning letters to 17 companies in the last two months for selling unapproved and misbranded products in connection with complaints of sellers claiming to have COVID-19 prevention products.
The federally-approved stimulus checks that citizens began receiving this month have also been targeted by scammers. Criminals are attempting to steal people’s personal and financial information to commit identity theft.
Also, small business owners are falling victim to scams when they apply for federal grants and loans. Scammers are using phishing emails and other scams, including claiming to be from the Small Business Administration, to steal confidential business and financial information.
The FTC also reports scams in which people promise to buy groceries or other supplies for older adults, and then take off with their money without delivering any items.
To stop scammers, the FTC is asking for help. You can report scams online to the FTC if you become aware of one or fall victim to one.
Is your personal information on the dark web? Make sure your identity isn’t at risk!