Protect ya neck. Guard your grill. Sleep with one eye open.

All sayings that pretty much warn you to be on the lookout.

Especially when it comes to getting scammed and hustled.

And especially in the middle of this pandemic.

Scammers know that people's guards are down and their paranoia is sky high.

And they are running all types of schemes to get rich off of people's fears during Covid-19.

To date...

Americans have lost more than $77 million in COVID-19 fraud since the start of the year, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (PYMNTS.com)

Reports started trending up in March and have remained pretty high every since. As of July 8th, over 122,000 reports (63,000 plus for fraud alone) have been filed with the FTC and to the tune of roughly $269 per incident. That's the entire US.(public.tableau.com)

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In Michigan, 2,670 overall reports have been filed with the FTC. 1,600 plus have been fraud alone and the median amount lost was about $255.  Overall, Michigan's total fraud loss as it relates to Covid-19 and Stimulus reports - $1.86 Million. (public.tableau.com)

Where and how do they get you?

Online shopping (price gouging & shipping), followed by travel and vacation scams, those pesky seemingly harmless mobile:text messages, and finally impersonating the government (those fake IRS letters and more). You can peep the charts and graphs HERE.

With more than 40 million Americans collecting jobless benefits, opportunities are out there for thieves hoping to cash in by posing as individuals helping file for unemployment benefits and then steal personal information.(PYMNTS.com)

 

And if you think they are just hitting up the elderly, think again. The median age of those getting scammed? 30 - 39 followed by 40 - 49 year olds. So they aren't just targeting grandma and grandpa. They're making a killing going after their kids.

Know this. The scammers are out there. They are hard at work. You should be too. Check your sources, don't give out personal information so quickly and easily. Especially over the phone and online. Question everything. And make sure that folks who are helping you out file paperwork for unemployment, taxes, stimulus checks, assistance are verified and qualified. If it's too good to be true (including a hookup at a good price for some services to help you and your family), you could be setting yourself up to take a big fall.