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US, states crack down on scams bilking desperate Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal and state authorities say they are cracking down on a wave of illegal schemes that have proliferated during the pandemic and prey upon the desperation of people who have lost jobs in the outbreak’s economic upheaval.

The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits.

Regulators on Monday announced a nationwide law-enforcement sweep targeting scams estimated to have bilked consumers of more than $1 billion. Especially vulnerable targets are seniors, immigrants, Black and Latino people, students and military families.

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