COVID-19

Watch Out for Coronavirus Scams!

By | Rishi Shah
Associate

Over the last few weeks, there’s been drastic changes to most of our lives. One thing that’s still (unfortunately) around? Phishing emails and scams. Scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, launching a new wave of coronavirus-related tricks to cheat people out of their money and personal information.
 

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Consumer complaints of COVID-19 fraud surpass 15,000

Scammers and other bad actors are trying to take advantage of Americans’ heightened fears around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and fraud complaints are soaring. Consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the virus surpassed 15,000 Thursday.

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

COVID-19 consumer tips: Scams, utility bills and your stimulus check

Baltimore -- In the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Maryland consumers are experiencing numerous public health and financial challenges, including virus-related scams, fake products promising cures and price gouging. To help address these concerns and more, Maryland PIRG Foundation is publishing new guides and tips each week to help consumers navigate this crisis.

A few days ago, the CDC released instructions for how to make your own facemasks to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 crisis. With the extremely high prices of surgical masks due to price gouging in online marketplaces, purchasing a mask may not be an affordable option for all households. (Side note: if you’re worried about price gouging, check out some of our tips on how to avoid it and report it.)

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Maryland legislators demand Amazon, other online marketplaces end coronavirus price gouging

Together, 347 legislators representing 45 states joined Maryland PIRG Foundation in sending a letter Tuesday urging Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook and Walmart to quickly implement preventative measures on their platforms to ensure that consumers don’t get taken advantage of during this public health crisis. Less than two weeks ago, 33 attorneys general, including Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, sent a similar letter to the same companies.

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