It’s prime time for coronavirus swindlers

The FTC said recently that corona-fraud complaints had doubled in the last few weeks. Consumers reported losing $4.7m+, with a median loss of ~$600.


April 8, 2020

If a “relative” of some African royalty emails you and offers to “help” with that stimulus check, DO NOT hit reply.

Law-enforcement agencies around the country are warning consumers not to be taken in by a growing criminal underground that wants to make big bucks off the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Trade Commission said recently that corona-fraud complaints had doubled in the last few weeks. Consumers reported losing $4.7m+, with a median loss of ~$600.

The scammers are going HAM

It’s bad enough that some world leaders and celebrities are promoting corona-spiracies (wyd, Woody?!) and unproven DIY remedies. (Tea is NOT going to cut it, no matter what Venezuela’s president says.)

When misinformation spreads almost as fast as the virus itself, that gives enterprising evildoers more room to operate.

The New York Times reported that a fake corona-clinic was operating out of a convenience-store parking lot, offering “tests” for $240 a pop. 

But the fakers blew their cover when they misspelled the acronym for a medical privacy law as “HIPPA,” among other dead giveaways (it’s “HIPAA,” for you spelling-bee champs out there). Criminal masterminds they ain’t.

If you think that’s dumb, we’ve got a statue to sell ya

The police in India caught someone trying to offload the “Statue of Unity” — the world’s tallest, at almost 600 feet — for $4B, claiming the proceeds would go toward fighting the virus.

Vice reported that cybersquatting criminals are buying up corona-adjacent domains, trying to trick people into thinking their sites are legit.

Here’s a fun way to protect yourself

Gather ’round your isolated loved ones and settle in for a reassuring game of FTC Scam Bingo. Any offers that would win you a letter are probably frauds.

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