CONSUMER ALERT: Americans lose over $16.6 million to Coronavirus-related scams

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) – The numbers are in and Americans have lost millions of dollars to Coronavirus related scams.

From January 1 through April 19 the Federal Trade Commission received more than 22,000 reports related to COVID-19.

“The number one complaint is fraud and so what is making up those fraud numbers, number one was travel and vacation and a lot of that stems from a lot of people have to travel having to cancel their travel plans however some companies weren’t refunding the money so there was a lot of confusion,” said Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau Marketplace Manager.

Americans lost over $16.6 million to Coronavirus-related fraud scams. Meanwhile, the FTC received 91 reports from Hawaii.

“For us, number one was fraud. The second most category is what they call other and other encompasses a bunch of different types of scams to including credit cards, lending institutions so mortgages and student loan as well as the scams with banking, savings, credit unions and of course the credit bureau scams.”

Other complaint categories in Hawaii include robocalls and identity theft.

“These scams aren’t new they are just targeting differently you have to remember and one scam they are trying to get all kind of pieces of information your credit card, your social security, your information.”

Freitas says remember to never give out your personal information over the phone or online, shop with trustworthy businesses and only use legitimate websites.

If you become a victim to any scam, you can report it to the BBB, FTC or DCCA. To view the Coronavirus-related scam numbers nationwide, click here.

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