North Carolinians have lost nearly $4 million to fraud during COVID-19 pandemic, FTC says

North Carolina news

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) – North Carolina residents have lost $3.98 million to fraud amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

A statewide tracker shows North Carolinians have filed more than 4,500 reports, Most are related to online shopping, or travel and vacations.

Attorney General Josh Stein told FOX8 Monday that scammers will change their tactics depending on the news of the day. Initially, he said it was fake face coverings and disinfectant then stimulus scams.

“They’re trying to get your personal information or your money,” he said.

Recently, his office began investigating reports of fake contact tracers.

The attorney general explained scammers will claim you’ve come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to try and get your personal information.

He said real public officials will never ask for your credit card or health insurance information.

“They may call you, and they even may text you, but they will not ask you to click a link, nor will they ask you for any personal information,” he said.

With many still struggling to find work, Stein warns that scammers will target people needing relief.

“There’s going to be a lot of people in economic distress. I’m confident we will see scams around debt consolidation, avoiding your tax bills, your student loans. Anything that’s weighing you down financially. They will try to prey on your financial desperation to make your situation even worse,” Stein said.

He asks possible scams be reported at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

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