Study: Florida has the Most Coronavirus-Related Fraud Claims
According to reporting from ABC 27, Florida tops the country in coronavirus-related fraud. A recent study found that Florida has the dubious distinction of having the most COVID-19 fraud claims in the United States—eclipsing New York, Texas, California, and Pennsylvania. Alarmingly, the study found that fraud reports are up when compared to 2019.
COVID-19 Fraud Comes in Many Different Forms
The researchers note that more than $100 million of coronavirus-related fraud has already been documented since the pandemic hit the United States in March. Unfortunately, the true extent of the damage is likely far greater as business and consumer fraud are consistently underreported. Fraud is a widespread problem. The report notes that COVID-19 fraud schemes are taking many different forms. Among other things, fraudsters have attempted to commit identity theft, steal federal stimulus checks, and promote phony cures and products for the virus.
Defrauded in a COVID-19 Scam? How to Protect Your Rights
The best way to deal with business and consumer fraud is to stop it before it happens. As unscrupulous individuals and companies are attempting to take advantage of the pandemic, we must remain vigilant. Of course, it is not always possible to avoid fraud schemes. Here are four steps to take if you were victimized by a COVID-19 scam in South Florida:
- Prevent Additional Losses: First and foremost, fraud victims need to make sure that they are protected from any further damage. Lock down accounts. If you were the victim of fraud, it is a best practice to get a credit freeze.
- Document Everything: Carefully document what happened. Save all of the evidence that you have, including any correspondence between you and the fraudster. The more information you have, the easier it will be to get justice and bring a legal claim.
- Report the Fraud: Business and consumer fraud should be reported to the appropriate authorities. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this may include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Florida Attorney General, and/or your local police department.
- Get Professional Help: If you are considering bringing a civil legal claim to recover financial compensation for your damages, consult with a South Florida fraud lawyer. A lawyer will help you take action.
There are few things more stressful or frustrating than being a victim of fraud—especially during these already challenging times. You should take immediate action to hold the perpetrators accountable for their wrongdoing. By reporting fraud and pursuing a claim, you can both protect your own interests and help the community.
Get Immediate Help From a South Florida Fraud Lawyer
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami business & consumer fraud attorneys are standing by, ready to assist with your case. We will fight aggressively to protect your financial interests. If you or your company was the victim of a coronavirus-related fraud scheme, we can help. Call us now for a confidential initial consultation. We represent clients from our law offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Miami.