Fraud Hits New High Amid Pandemic

Posted by Charles Benavidez

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Any time the world is thrown off balance by a major, sustained event or incident, it’s an opportunity for some of our most creative minds for a burst of new and refined criminal activity. The global pandemic presents an atmosphere ripe for criminal creativity, and the United States is now drowning in new colorful types of fraud.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as of May 28th, its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received as many complaints in the first five months of this year as it did for all 12 months of 2019.

Three-quarters of those complaints are frauds and swindles, and the “sheer volume” is “a challenge” for the FBI.

From the sale of counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) claiming to ward off coronavirus and fake cures to fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, stimulus check scams and even plots to take advantage of children engaging in online schooling, the vultures have come out of the pandemic woodwork in full force.

Real estate scams are just one target–but of the high-dollar variety.

With the real estate industry in lockdown for months, many elements of the closing process that were normally required to be done in person for security reasons were accomplished digitally, opening up magnificent opportunities for IT-savvy criminals to hijack emails between agents, title agencies and buyers, convincing buyers to send their down payments to wrong parties. CLICK for complete article