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Coronavirus Resource Center

State Attorneys General Update: COVID-19 Crisis

Mar.27.2020

During times of disaster such as the COVID-19 crisis, State Attorneys General are focused on consumer protection and charity scams. Top issues we have seen to date include:

  1. Price Gouging: Attorneys General are very active ensuring consumers are not being price gouged for products and services in high demand. They are focused on retailers, and companies in the supply chains for both brick and mortar and online retailers. Attorneys General are also working with online platforms for third-party sellers to stop price gouging. 
  2. False Advertising: Many states have sounded the alarm over product claims that either prevent or cure COVID-19 or related health claims. A company’s claim about the value of their products or services regarding the virus or other similar issues should expect scrutiny by the AGs and their staff. Some states have also identified scammers, including falsely offering credit for COVID-19 testing kits to induce consumers to provide their account information and mailing address. 
  3. Refunds and Cancellations: Many Attorneys General are seeking to protect consumers from a diminution, interruption or cancellation of on-going contracts for goods and services that are interrupted because of cancellations or inability to perform. 
  4. Charities: Attorneys General are issuing warnings to consumers of fake charities raising money for phony victims of the COVID-19 disease. Attorneys General will also look at the accuracy of promotional sales to benefit charities when retail advertisers promise a portion of each sale to a specified charity.  

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Clayton S. Friedman
Partner – Orange County
Phone: +1 949.798.1316
Email: cfriedman@crowell.com
Natalie O. Ludaway
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2613
Email: nludaway@crowell.com
Michael Yaghi
Partner – Orange County
Phone: +1 949.798.1396
Email: myaghi@crowell.com
Joselle Albracht
Senior Counsel
Phone: +1 949.798.1332
Email: jalbracht@crowell.com