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FTC reports Coloradans have been targeted by COVID-19 scammers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The amount of money Coloradans have lost to COVID-19 pandemic related scams and disputes is quickly rising.

The Federal Trade Commission says coronavirus consumer complaints have surged in recent weeks.

The FTC reports that it has received nearly 10,000 complaints related to COVID-19 scams.

"About half of those reports came in just about a week's time. So, the numbers are really increasing rapidly," Emma Fletcher with the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said.

The FTC says American consumers have at least $6.85 million, with a median loss per person of $563.

The most coronavirus-related fraud complaints are travel and vacation related to cancellations and refunds. The FTC says others include online shopping issues, cell phone text scams, and imposters of government and businesses.

As of April 2, 164 Coloradans filed complaints with the FTC; 92 of those are fraud complaints.

Those fraud complaints include online shopping issues, text message scams, and government and business imposters. The FTC tells KRDO fraud complaints could also be travel reservation cancellation disputes.

Forty-three of the FTC complaints in Colorado are related to mortgage, credit card, other loans, and health care scams.

Twenty-seven Coloradans reported scam calls about debt reduction warranties or medical prescriptions.

The FTC says one of the more popular national scams are related to items that are hard to find during the pandemic.

"They will create a website to sell products that people just aren't able to get. Things like face masks. Phony N95 websites sites where they are selling these N95 masks that hospitals can't even get," Fletcher explained.

The FTC tells KRDO scammers are using old scams to target those who are seeking additional ways to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Officials warn you to do some homework before giving anyone your financial information or making a purchase.

"If you're acting out of fear, maybe pause for a moment and check it out. Because that's exactly what the scammers want you to do," Fletcher said.

The FTC believes scammers are targeting everyone.

If you believe you are a victim of a scam or fraud related to the coronavirus you can report it directly to the FTC here.

KRDO Newschannel 13 is looking at how these scammers are taking advantage of Coloradans.

Local News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. “The FTC says American consumers have at least $6.85 million, with a median loss per person of $563.”

    I don’t have $6.85 million.

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