Consumers Have Lost Hundreds Of Millions In COVID-19 Fraud: FTC

Email inboxes were flooded with deceptive messages about COVID-related products, and consumers lost $399 million overall between January 2020 and April 2021. according to Protecting Consumers During the COvID-19 Pandemic: A Year in ‘Review, a report from the Federal Trade Commission. 

In response, the FTC has taken these actions during the pandemic:

- Filed 13 enforcement actions against companies that failed to deliver personal protective equipment or made fraudulent health or earnings claims. 

- Directed over 350 firms to remove deceptive claims related to COVID-19 treatments, potential earnings and other matters.  

- Prioritized privacy enforcement actions regarding conduct that the FTC says was exacerbated in the transformation to digital work and schooling. This included videoconferencing, ed-tech and health-tech. 

- Collected and tracked more than 436,000 reports associated with COVID-19 between January 2020 and April 7, 2021. 

- Issued more than 100 consumer and business alerts on COVID-related topics. 

“But make no mistake: The Commission’s work on its COVID-19 response is just beginning,” the FTC adds.




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