COVID-19 Strikes Fear, Scammers Rake in Cash

COVID-19 Strikes Fear, Scammers Rake in Cash article cover

FTC reports how much consumers lost to COVID-19 scams

As you read this, COVID-19 scammers are successfully raking in more than 145 million consumer dollars. In a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, 2020 yielded well over 200,000 reports of scams from coronavirus swindlers alone.

With false promises of COVID-19 protection and stimulus aid, consumers lose a median of $300 to coronavirus scammers. Consumers need to be on high alert and wary of scammers attempting to take advantage of the pandemic and challenging times.

Scammers use many different ways to get in touch with you. If you receive a phone call from an unknown number, robot, or stranger, ignore it unless you trust the caller, as phones are the number one most commonly reported scam contact method. Websites are the second most common method, and where consumers have lost the most money. The third most common method scammers use is email, so be sure to avoid any email addresses you do not recognize.

While older age groups reported a higher median loss of money, all age groups reported frauds and need to be wary. Here is a current breakdown of the top COVID-19 scams reported by the FTC:

Fraud (Over 110,000 reports)

Most common: Online Shopping

Second: Travel\Vacations

Third: Health Care (Diet products\Centers\Plans)

Other Scams (Over 60,000 reports)

Most common: Credit Cards

Second: Banks, Savings & Loans, and Credit Unions

Third: Credit Bureaus

Identity Theft (Over 30,000 reports)

Do Not Call (Over 7,000 reports)

Most common: Imposters

Second: Reducing Debt

Third: Medical & Prescriptions

COVID-19 has heavily impacted our world, communities, and us as individuals. For a full list of COVID-19 scams, take a look at our blog where we use our reviewer data to explain each scam: COVID-19 Scams Are Surging: Know What They Are and How to Avoid Them. Keep up to date with the FTC and our Sitejabber Consumer Resources Blog for the latest on staying safe online.