Bingo! Coronavirus scams are so bad, the FTC wants you to play this game

Here in Maine, we love a good game of bingo, but here’s a version you probably haven’t played before.

There are so many scams right now, the Federal Trade Commission is trying something new to get people’s attention — SCAM BINGO.

During the coronavirus outbreak, scammers are trying to take advantage of people who are scared and vulnerable.

People have already sent more than 9,000 coronavirus-related complaints to the FTC this year and report losing more than $6 million.

The number of robocalls is up as scammers target people looking for help and information.

“Unfortunately it’s not one strategy. It’s emails, social media, it’s phone calls, it’s text messages. I have never seen this in my 20 years at the Better Business Bureau,” Paula Fleming with the BBB told CBS 13.

With many of us working from home and students in virtual classrooms, people are spending more time online with less security.

[Related: Scammers launch websites, robocalls to try to profit off coronavirus]

The FTC is trying to stop companies from misrepresenting products, but there are more scam websites popping up, making promises to diagnose the disease.

So the agency says you can help avoid these scams and warn others about them, by playing their game of bingo.

Share this bingo card on social media and ask your friends to play along.

Do you have a tip for the CBS 13 On Your Side I-Team: click here

Click here to report a scam to the FTC


Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.