Senator highlights the financial and health risks suffered by Arizonans who are victims of COVID-related scams
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, during a Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing, highlighted the importance of federal, state, and local partnerships to protect Arizonans from the financial and health risks of COVID-related scams.
“Scams aren’t just a financial concern. COVID scams also endanger the health of the public, who can be defrauded into believing that certain products can prevent or cure COVID, when there is no scientific basis to support those claims,” said Sinema.
During the hearing, Sinema also stressed that Arizona families have reported thousands of COVID-related scams to the Federal Trade Commission with $1.5 million in losses. Sinema emphasized those are just the reported scams to the FTC, indicating that the actual damage is far greater.
Sinema partnered with the Arizona Attorney General to raise awareness and warn Arizonans about some common coronavirus scams. These scams can include selling fake coronavirus vaccines or unproven treatments to scared families and individuals. Scammers have targeted Arizona seniors and threaten to cut off stimulus payments or food assistance if they don’t share personal information. Scammers have also distributed counterfeit personal protective equipment, which can endanger the lives of medical professionals and first responders.
Additionally, Sinema teamed up with Republican Senators Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) to introduce bipartisan legislation that expands Federal Trade Commission authority to stop false advertising during the coronavirus pandemic by increasing civil and criminal penalties on scammers.
Sinema has a resources page on her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for updated information in English and Spanish on the coronavirus.