Sellers of shoddy protective gear and thieves of stimulus checks, beware: A bipartisan new bill proposes decades in prison for scam artists exploiting the coronavirus pandemic.
The legislation, introduced late Thursday, would temporarily boost federal criminal penalties by 15 years for pandemic-related fraud and by 35 years for COVID-19-linked counterfeit goods.
The Coronavirus Swindlers, Crooks, and Manipulators (SCAM) Act was introduced by Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Long Island Democrat, and eastern Pennsylvania Rep. Daniel Meuser, a Republican, who say they were outraged by reports of senior citizens being cheated out of their $1,200 stimulus checks via phishing emails and by reports of phony protective masks.
“Taking advantage of elderly Americans amid their anxieties regarding the pandemic is deplorable,” Suozzi said in a statement provided to The Post. “We must do everything we can to deter scam-artists from taking advantage of this global crisis. I am proud to introduce this critical, bipartisan legislation alongside Rep. Meuser.”
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