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July 7, 2020Blog Posts

Americans lost $77 million to Covid-19 fraud — and that’s just the ‘tip of the iceberg’

CNBC

Americans have lost more than $77 million in fraud related to Covid-19, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

But that tally is likely a severe undercount amid an “unprecedented” scope of scams connected to the coronavirus, according to John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League, a consumer advocacy group.

“I think the FTC’s numbers are almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fraud losses,” Breyault said. “We know fraud is historically an under-reported crime.”

Con artists have scammed consumers out of $77.4 million in coronavirus-related fraud since the beginning of the year, according to FTC data through Sunday.  

Consumers reported around 62,400 instances of fraud. Nearly half were linked to some financial loss. The median loss was $272.

Scammers have targeted the billions in aid doled out through new federal programs help prop up individuals and businesses during the coronavirus-induced recession.

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