Attorneys General on the Front Line Against Coronavirus-Related Scams

  • Christopher Allen, a Member of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice, penned a brief summary about the efforts of AGs to protect the public from scams, abuse, and fraud perpetrated by bad actors attempting to capitalize on the Coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”).
  • In the alert, Allen highlights the recent activity of AGs who are using their prominent public profiles to provide the public reliable information and exercising broad their consumer protection powers to go after alleged hucksters peddling false cures and profiteers engaging in price gouging.
  • Examples of AG activity include Missouri AG Eric Schmitt suing former televangelist Jim Bakker for allegedly selling a fake “Coronavirus cure”; New York AG Letitia James issuing a cease and desist letter to Bakker for the same; and Washington AG Bob Ferguson investigating price gouging in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency in Washington.
  • In addition to AG actions, the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to companies allegedly deceptively marketing unapproved products by making unsubstantiated claims about the ability of these products to treat or prevent COVID-19.