The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has disclosed in a data that Americans have lost about $145 million to Covid-19 related frauds.
According to the data released on Tuesday September 22, 2020, the Federal Agency said that since the beginning of the year, more than 205,000 reports relating to Covid-19 frauds have been submitted by consumers.
While the average loss over time stood at $300, financial loss among seniors who fall within 80-year old age range stood at $655 which is more than double of the recorded average loss.
While speaking about the situation, a consumer Program Associate at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Lucy Baker, said, “While people are scared about their health and finances, con artists are having a field day.”
As coronavirus pandemic has put people in dire need of health and financial support they could ever get, scammers have been taking advantage of the situation swindling people out of their money.
Scammers have employed various financial relief routes such as stimulus check, unemployment benefits, fraudulent charities and fake Covid-19 treatment to extort money from people.
Baker, however advised people to be on guard whenever they need to engage in any activities that involve money.
“We all need to be on our guard. Before you click, pause first. Do your research and ask yourself if that website, email, text, direct message or call is legit. Be wary of handing over your money or personal information,” she said.
Speaking about the current number of reported frauds, the Federal Trade Commission said that there has been a fall in the number of Covid-19 frauds related reports. Reports have fallen to less than 200 a day, a significant fall from a 1,000 reports per day in the months of April and May.
However, there have been speculations that the actual numbers of scams could be higher than the official figures has revealed because those figures do not include frauds that are unreported by consumers.