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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress has proposed a second stimulus.

How it works: Scammers around the world know the government is flooding the American economy with cash and some are taking advantage of health-related fears and the wave of home shoppers to divert chunks of that money.

  • Scams commonly offer coronavirus vaccines, cures, air filters and tests on fake websites, while others operate through fabricated coronavirus-related charities and fake “persons in need” schemes in which scammers pose as family, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • "It is often the case that, following reports of a health scare, deceptive advertising or marketing touting 'miracle cures' quickly emerge. The COVID-19 pandemic has put this cause and effect scenario into overdrive," Andrew Smith, director of the commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, told Congress in July.
  • The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned on Aug. 12 that it was tracking a malicious cyber actor who was "spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails."

By the numbers: More than 28,000 victims had their identities stolen through coronavirus-related scams since the start of the pandemic.

  • 30- to 39-year-olds have filed more than 7,000 coronavirus fraud reports — the most of all other age groups. 40- to 49-year-olds have lost the most money to such scams, with a total of around $14.9 million.

Flashback: Around 23,000 Americans reported losing $18 million to coronavirus frauds in mid-April.

The big picture: 44 state attorneys general have so far signed a letter urging Congress to amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to allow senior victims of fraud to receive funds from crime victim funds in states that offer such compensation.

  • People in California, Florida, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania — the most populous states in the U.S. — filed the most fraud reports, according to FTC data.

Go deeper: Tips for avoiding coronavirus scams

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2020 - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground, and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Nov 29, 2020 - Health

Fauci warns Thanksgiving travel will likely make COVID-19 surge worse

NIAID director Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the U.S. could see in the coming weeks "a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in," as COVID-19 cases are expected to rise after many Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why it matters: Cases and hospitalizations are already skyrocketing nationwide. Governors and health departments in some states have warned that the increase in cases could overwhelm hospital systems.

Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Colorado governor and partner test positive for coronavirus

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tweeted Saturday night that he and his partner, Marlon Reis, tested positive for COVID-19.

The big picture: He said they're both "asymptomatic, feeling well, and will continue to isolate at home." On Nov. 9, Polis extended a 30-day mask mandate to combat a rise in cases. The state has confirmed 225,283 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. Since September, the governors of Wyoming, Nevada, Virginia and Missouri have also tested positive for the virus.