DENVER (KDVR) — Over 300 coronavirus-related consumer complaints have been reported to Attorney General Phil Weiser. Pricing and refund issues are the chief complaints, according to preliminary data.
Additional complaints include texts and robocalls offering stay-at-home work schemes, fake deals with merchants, or other incentives to get people to click on false links. These links can then infect their devices or steal personal information.
“Scammers are now taking advantage of Coloradans as they search for essential products to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Weiser said.
“That’s why we are asking anyone who has experienced or witnessed scams or price gouging during this public health emergency to report the incident to our office. By working together, we can protect ourselves and other Coloradans from those bad actors seeking to take advantage of this public health emergency.”
Chief pricing complaints are sanitary items such as toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and general cleaning supplies. Food and medical supplies, including masks and prescriptions, are also included. The refund complaints are mostly related to lodging, travel, lift tickets and skiing equipment.
The Attorney General’s Office suggests following these tips in cases of gouging and refunds.
- Do not panic and consult reputable sources for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, including Covid-19 in Colorado.
- Do not let price gougers profit off your concern.
- Remember that not all price increases constitute price gouging. There may be legitimate reasons for why a seller may impose a small price increase, including an increase in the seller’s costs or bringing the product(s) to market.
- Contact the business to ask about a refund or credit. Call rather than use an automated online reservation system. A chat feature may also work if you want a record of the communication.
- Before contacting the business to ask about a refund, review the relevant agreement or terms.
- If the business won’t issue a refund, consider asking about a credit for future use.
For more information about price gouging, refunds, and coronavirus-related scams and resources, go to Coronavirus Consumer Alert.
If you notice any scams, fraud, price gouging, or other attempts to take advantage of Coloradans during this public health emergency, contact Stop Fraud Colorado at 800-222-4444 or Stop Fraud Colorado.