You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Scams on the rise during COVID-19

Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC logo Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC 6/26/2020 Montse Ricossa
a hand holding a remote control: KWQC © Provided by Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC KWQC

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise, so are scams associated with the virus. Fraud reports are increasing as scam artists take advantage of this vulnerable time.

The National Consumers League says there’s been an uptick in complaints since COVID-19, partially because more people are at home. The scams tend to prey on the vulnerable which includes older residents, those who are tight on money, or those fearful consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission is tracking fraud reports during COVID-19. Data shows the group with most frauds reported are ages 30 to 39. While those 80 and older have the fewest scams reported, that group sees the most costly losses. So far, there are over 100,000 fraud reports in the united states. Many of the complaints come from phishing schemes through landlines or emails, targetting an older demographic.

Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller says scammers will want you to act right now and that's one of the many signs you should be aware of. They may also prey on your emotions, saying a grandchild or a romantic interest needs money.

Data shows over 71 million dollars have been lost because of fraud and the median loss is $283. Miller says it’s crucial everyone reports fraud, “we all get fooled. Nobody is smart enough or alert enough not to get taken. Fraudsters are very sophisticated and very persistent in trying. People shouldn’t be embarrassed. They should think they’re a hero and doing a service when speaking out.”

General Miller says those in retirement homes are also especially vulnerable because they don't have as much contact with their extended family. Before paying someone over the phone, or if you're even slightly suspicious, you're recommended to talk it through with someone else first. Miller fraudsters are "aware of what's hot, what people are interested in, and they move their scams to move with those situations. It's so much better than trying to recover the money." Miller went on to say, "prevention is so much better than the cure. If we can get the word out to people, that just helps everybody."

He says those in retirement homes are also especially vulnerable because they don’t have as much contact with their extended family. Before paying someone over the phone, or if you’re even slightly suspicious, you’re recommended to talk it through with someone else first. The easiest prevention tip is to just hang up the phone. If you do fall victim to fraud, you can report it to the Better Business Bureau or your state’s Attorney General.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC

Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC
Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon