Business

Consumer losses from Covid-related scams exceed $ 500 million

simonlong | Moment | Getty Images

According to Federal Trade Commission data, consumer losses from Covid-related scams have exceeded $ 500 million as criminals have removed carelessness in schemes ranging from online shopping to travel.

Since the beginning of 2020, more than 558,000 consumer complaints have been received regarding pandemics.

Approximately 60% of complaints are related to fraud, stating that by July 22, there had been a total loss of $ 501 million. According to the agency, the average person lost about $ 370.

Other articles on personal finance:
More than half of adults have unused gift cards
Optimizing monthly child tax credit payments may make sense for some
What you need to know before adding cryptocurrencies to your retirement portfolio

“Scammers always take advantage of man-made or natural disasters,” said Susan Grant, head of consumer protection and privacy for the US Consumers Union, an advocate.

According to federal data, criminals have used multiple means to steal money from unsuspecting Americans, including online shopping during pandemics, travel, and scams related to government incentives.

Consumer complaints

Meanwhile, the most commonly reported pandemic-related issue in 2020 was price cuts, according to state and local consumer agencies that surveyed the Consumers Union report published on Monday. Consumers have complained that popular products such as hand sanitizers, toilet paper and masks are being charged exorbitant prices.

According to the report, the agency also received Covid-related complaints in a variety of other categories, including evictions from peasants, canceled events and travel, school, and childcare.

According to Grant, the data is self-reported by consumers, so the true range of consumer complaints and losses can be much higher than official statistics.

“The complaints they receive are just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “It’s safe to say that there are so many people.”

Online shopping accounted for the largest number of scams reported to the FTC — about 16% of all complaints or scams reported over 53,000.

Americans have increased their online orders because they spend more time indoors during the pandemic. But according to the FTC, many are victims of “opportunist websites” that claim to sell popular products, from hand sanitizers to gloves, electronics, clothing, and even puppies. did. The customer orders the item but never receives it.

Victims lost the largest total amount ($ 77 million) in vacation and travel scams, according to FTC officials. Authorities said most of the scams were related to refunds and cancellations.

Travel has recovered as Covid’s vaccinations have increased, according to the Better Business Bureau. The scammers responded by creating fake ticket booking sites and customer service numbers.

Consumer losses from Covid-related scams exceed $ 500 million

Source link Consumer losses from Covid-related scams exceed $ 500 million

Back to top button