FTC officials detailed their efforts to stop consumer scams linked to the coronavirus pandemic July 21 before a Senate commerce subcommittee.
The agency said it has taken aims at scams such as deceptive advertising or marketing displaying “miracle cures” for COVID-19 by sending out more than 250 warning letters to marketers regarding claims that their products will treat, cure or prevent COVID-19. In most cases companies that have received warning letters act quickly to correct issues with their claims, but the agency said it will take legal action when a warning letter doesn’t stop the problem.
In its testimony before the subcommittee on manufacturing, trade and consumer protection, the FTC also detailed COVID-19-related complaints from consumers about online shopping. Consumers have reported merchants that offer masks, personal protective equipment and other products for sale but never ship the products, fail to meet delivery promises, send products other than those advertised and fail to refund customers.
The FTC said that getting money back for consumers is an important part of its mission, which is now at risk due to recent judicial decisions. It asked Congress to pass legislation clarifying its authority under the FTC Act to obtain money for consumers from scammers.
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