“Scamdemic” Law Criminalizes Covid Hoaxes, Rip-Offs

Pandemic scam bill headed to Governor’s desk

FLORIDA POLITICS – The state’s fraud laws are likely about to get an update.

All Senators supported a measure to make certain pandemic scams chargeable offenses Tuesday. The House already passed the bill, meaning it’s now ready for Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ signature.

Officials at all levels have been warning people about scams promising vaccines or PPE in exchange for money, Land O’ Lakes Rep. Ardian Zika said.

Sen. Aaron Bean said, “This bill criminalizes using pandemic for fraud or rip-offs for scams where there’s PPE or vaccine.”

Befuddled consumers during the pandemic paid for unproven COVID-19 test kits, provided personal information for vaccine appointments that never existed, or found out someone used their information to file for unemployment benefits.

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The South Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office has so far filed a total of 38 COVID-19 financial fraud cases, with fraud scheme dollar amounts totaling more than $75 million.

During debate, Miami Sen. Jason Pizzo shared a story about a recent issue in his district:

“Yesterday my district school told parents, faculty and staff, ‘don’t get vaccinated. If you get vaccinated it’ll disturb your menstrual cycle. The Covid-19 vaccine is carrying an undisclosed disease that can be transmitted to other people.’

“This might not be the vehicle for it, but fraud extends to wild misperceptions … ”

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