Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has taken two actions to protect consumers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Ferguson’s office announced March 4 it would be opening a formal investigation into price gouging. As of March 5, the office had received 23 complaints specifically related to COVID-19. Brionna Aho, the communications director for the office, said their is no timeline for the investigation.
“My office is investigating price gouging in the wake of the COVID-19 public-health emergency. We do not identify the targets of our investigations, but we are taking formal investigative actions,” Ferguson said in a press release. “If you see price gouging, file a complaint with my office.”
On March 5, Ferguson’s office issued a press release warning consumers of potential scams that could be preying on fears of COVID-19.
“Scammers often prey on fear. As the COVID-19 outbreak and response continue, Washingtonians may see people advertising products or services they claim treat or cure the disease. There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 at this time,” he said in the release. “Any claims that a product or service can cure, kill, or destroy COVID-19 are probably false, and should be reported to our office.”
Ferguson is asking that anyone with a complaint file at www.atg.wa.gov/file-