Virus website scams lead to millions in losses

Scammers created more than 35,500 websites related to COVID-19 in a month, leading to losses of up to $100,000 per case, according to research by Atlas VPN.

Sites tried to swindle money via phishing scams or selling masks, hand-sanitizers and even virus testing kits, the company says.

While coronavirus-related website scams increased 1900 per cent from February to March, Amazon blocked or removed over a million coronavirus-related products and Interpol 18 bank accounts, freezing more than $730,000 in fraudulent transactions.

Atlas VPN says its report shows how corporations are shutting down scam websites, and survey results on how the pandemic is changing people's shopping habits.

Atlas chief operating officer Rachel Welsh says people are panicking because of fears of shortages, pushing them towards making irrational decisions.

In the UK, police identified 106 cases of fraud where coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over $1.2 million.

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