CONSUMER ALERT: Update on COVID-19 scams, fake veterans' charities

(Photo: Pixabay / License Link)(MGN)
(Photo: Pixabay / License Link)(MGN)(KWQC)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 11:02 AM CDT
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The COVID-19 complaints are adding up, according to the FTC.

More than 52,000 reports of fraud and scams related to COVID-19 have been made.

The data updates daily, and so far, there has been more than $38 million lost in four and a half months.

The top complaint category costing people the most money is travel, primarily people filing complaints about refunds and cancellations.

Next is online shopping, with more than 5,000 complaints.

While reports of robocalls overall are down, officials say they're still hearing about scammers using the COVID-19 pandemic, pretending to be from the government, or making illegal medical or health care pitches.

The FTC enforcement has been swift.

This week, the agency sent 50 more warning letters to marketers making unsupported claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19.

The FTC has sent warning letters to more than 120 companies and individuals, and says they're seeing false claims for all sorts of products, but anyone who makes them simply has no proof, and is likely just after money.

In addition, officials say to watch out for fake veterans' charities to honor those who have died while serving for our country.

The BBB wants you to watch out for scammers and fake charities.

Watch for name confusion - they say some veterans charities include the same words in a slightly different order, and you should also be cautious of phone appeals or excessive pressure.

You can always look up a charity on the Better Business Bureau website, or

If you think you've fallen for a scam, you should report it immediately.