The world is slowly recovering from the wrath of the pandemic, both in terms of economy and human socialization. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered human lives in ways one could not comprehend. People have lost lives, and world economies have dropped. Coronavirus fraud by state is reported in many states across the U.S. For years to come, every time we speak of the pandemic, we will talk about the government’s response to it.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, over 34,000 Coronavirus fraud complaints have been registered across the U.S. People have lost money, they have been scammed by fake coronavirus schemes; the scam includes fraud attempts, identity theft, and do-not-call scams.
Fraudsters target the gullible American people, especially the elderly, and drain them financially during this dark period. Recently, the U.S. Small Business administration revealed that 20% of the money meant for small businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic had unfortunately been awarded to fraudsters.
Worst States for Coronavirus Fraud
Each of the states has recorded a fair share of recorded Coronavirus pandemic fraud. The data given below is based on the demographic structure of the state, which is complaints per 100,000 people. Following is the list of Sates in order of minimum recorded frauds to maximum ones.
- District of Columbia
- Rhode Island and Oregon
- New Jersey
- Maryland and New York
The two states which share the position of worst states for coronavirus fraud schemes are New York and Maryland. With a population of 19.5 million, the number of complaints registered in New York per 100,000 people is 12.6. The data given below categorizes the complaints into three main categories; Fraud attempts, Identity theft attempts, and D0-not-call scams
For New York, the data for Fraud attempts is 1,296, Identity theft attempts are 193, and Do-not-call scams are 137.
For Maryland, the data for Fraud attempts is 404, Identity theft attempts are 53, and Do-not-call scams are 30.
With a population of 7 million, Massachusetts records 23.4 complaints per 100,000 residents.
For Massachusetts, the data for Fraud attempts is 1,206, Identity theft attempts are 31, and Do-not-call scams are 55.
Common Frauds During the Coronavirus Pandemic
While the fraudsters are at play throughout the year, the pandemic gave birth to the new-age frauds, and the most common type of frauds during the Coronavirus pandemic include:
- Insurance Fraud: A fraudster acquires personal information by acting as an Insurance agent of any major Insurance company. To entice the victims, fraudsters offer ways how to save money with new Insurance plans and get a victim’s credit card and bank details.
- Cryptocurrency Investment: It is the new-age fraud in which a fraudster promises huge money for a small investment. The money invested is sent into a large crypto network, making it difficult for authorities to trace it.
- Health Organization Phishing Scams: During the covid pandemic, fraudsters opioid the template of WHO and CDC and sent messages to their victims, and acquired their personal information. With the personal information, a fraudster gets access to the victim’s credit cards and bank details.
- Door-to-Door Salespersons of COVID-19 Testing Kits or Vaccines: A fraudster acts as an expert by going door-to-door to sell a testing kit or a vaccine. Victims pay in cash as they buy the kits; some give their credit card details as well.
Despite the government warning and alerting the public to avoid giving their personal information to testing sites, telemarketing sites, and social media platforms, the Secret Service of the U.S. has said that nearly $100 billion is stolen from the Covid Relief Funds. In March 2020, when WHO declared a Coronavirus pandemic, the programs like CARES Act and PPP tried to help low-income groups, including small businesses, in the Covid lockdown.
Targeted Age Group For Frauds During Covid Pandemic
The major age group which the fraudsters targeted during the pandemic is between 20-69 years old. Narrowing down, the major targeted group belonged to 30-39 year-olds with 1,900 complaints registered. While the 30-39 group has a maximum number of complaints, the money lost rises with each increasing group.
Covid Pandemic And The Aftermath
In the last two years, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been devastating, to say the least. The public health emergency led millions into poverty as human lives were lost and economies were disrupted. The pandemic led to a new age of fraud schemes as victims gave their personal information to varying fraudsters.
The complaints were registered all over the country. The states which show the maximum number of complaints in the U.S. is New York and Maryland, and the state with minimum complaints is Massachusetts. Fraudsters target different groups to get access to personal information, including their credit card numbers and bank details.