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If you get this text message related to COVID-19, delete it ASAP

The Federal Trade Commission says there have been more than 48,000 reports of COVID-19 related fraud this year, resulting in Americans losing millions of dollars.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Americans have lost millions of dollars while falling for COVID-19 related schemes. 

In about a month, the number of fraud reports related to COVID-19 has almost tripled.

Here's a look at just one of the most recent scams.

The Federal Trade Commission reports people are getting a text message that claims you've been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Then when people click the link to learn more, you'll end up downloading malware onto your device. 

By the way, Pennsylvania isn't even doing widespread contact tracing yet, so you're not getting a text like this right now from anyone legitimate.

Crooks are now trying to make it look you have been exposed to COVID-19 while they try to scam you. I'll explain why fraud reports have almost tripled in the past month, on WPMT FOX43 at 4 & 5.

Posted by Jackie De Tore on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

It's just one of the thousands of COVID-19 scams out there

We showed you these statistics from the Federal Trade Commission back on April 17th.

Credit: FTC
FTC COVID-19 fraud Complaints from 4/17

At that time, more than 18,000 people said they were victims of COVID-19 fraud across the country.

As of May 17th, there are more than 49,000 reports, and almost half of the people who reported scams also lost money.

The average loss is around $475.

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Pennsylvania falls in the top 10 across the country when it comes to COVID-19 related scams with more than 1,400 reports so far.

According to the FTC, people are seeing a lot of fraud when it comes to travel or vacations and online shopping.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out.

Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.


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