Criminals have carried out more than 400,000 scams related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began in 2020, according to a federal watchdog.

The schemes range from fraudsters selling fake hand sanitizer and vaccination cards online to con artists stealing individuals’ personal information while pretending to help them¬†set up funeral arrangements. In another common scheme, predators contact senior citizens to set up vaccine appointments for a fee. All told, Americans have lost almost $400 million from pandemic-related scams, the Federal Trade Commission said.

Janice Gach of Weston, Florida, said she was almost a victim of a vaccine appointment scam earlier this year. She told CBS News correspondent Chris Martinez that she gave her contact information to what she believed was her local health department to schedule an appointment for her shots. 

Shortly thereafter, Gach said her phone rang. On the other line was someone pretending to set…

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