(WTNH) — The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that scammers are now trying to take advantage of people through the fear of coronavirus. The BBB claims scammers have been targeting consumers looking online to buy protective face masks.
This is not the first time scammers have taken action during an outbreak; the BBB says scammers sold unapproved and fraudulent remedies during the Ebola outbreak several years back. Experts say there are chances scammers will market more phony products during the coronavirus outbreak.
Connecticut State Attorney General, William Tong issued the following statement on potential price gouging:
Connecticut’s price gouging statute prohibits certain price increases following a disaster declaration either by the Governor or President. We have received and are monitoring reports of price increases for items like masks, but absent a declaration, these do not appear to violate state statute. Scammers are always looking for new ways to profit off fear. Don’t let them. In addition to predatory prices, consumers should also watch out for suspicious solicitations including requests for donations and offers to invest in miracle vaccines and cures.William Tong – Connecticut State Attorney General
Shoppers might turn to unfamiliar websites to find protective masks due to the recent high demand. BBB says to watch out for phony sites that may send low-quality or counterfeit masks. Other sites might take your payment information and never deliver your order.
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The BBB recommends consumers stick to reputable websites, especially with working contact information.
Be sure to look into the product claims. Watch out for products claiming to offer a “miracle cure.”
If you are unsure if a product is safe, check with your doctor before buying.