With Floridians hunkered down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried are trying to focus attention on scams and price gouging that stem from the crisis.
Scams include text messages claiming to offer victims yet-to-be-approved stimulus package money, crooks going door-to-door in lab coats posing as federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employees and seniors being offered free COVID-19 test kits in exchange for personal information.
Also, as of Monday night, Moody’s office had received 628 complaints about price gouging related to products such as cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and face masks.
“At a time like this, to charge them exorbitant prices for the things they will need to keep their families safe is disgusting and unlawful,” Moody said. “We will continue to pursue them throughout the duration of this crisis.”
Fried’s office said other scams include online sellers claiming they have high-demand products such as cleaning and health supplies and then consumers not getting shipments after placing orders.
"Especially during these difficult and uncertain times, we have zero tolerance for scammers who would take advantage of Floridians," Fried said in a prepared statement.
Fried’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has received 41 complaints related to the coronavirus, mostly related to traveling and lodging cancelations, the department said in a news release.