Scams related to the Covid-19 pandemic have cost Americans nearly $100 million, according to data released by the consumer group SocialCatfish.com
Reuters reports that the scams have ranged from identity theft to fake promises of government stimulus checks. Victims are often solicited through “robocalls”, texts or emails that try to convince people to reveal personal or financial information.
SocialCatfish.com says that the number of scams has doubled in most states, with Florida, California, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania being hardest hit. Not surprisingly, those are the most populous states in the country. Nearly a third of all complaints have come from those states.
The FTC indicates that Americans have been swindled out of $97.5 million since the virus first started to spread rapidly in March.
Smaller states are not immune from the scams. For example, Maine saw a four-fold monthly increase in reported complaints between March and July, according to the study.
The study also warned that price-gouging and other consumer product scams are also on the rise as the pandemic drags on.