MAITLAND, Fla. - A six-pack of hand sanitizer listed on Amazon with prices starting at $83 is one of many items being marketed online to people worried about the coronavirus.
E-commerce experts say online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy are fighting scammers who are playing on people's coronavirus fears.
“So tragedy tends to bring the worst out in people, and this is no exception. We're seeing all kinds of companies sell fictitious products online and a lot of price-gouging, too,” said Tom Jelneck, president of On Target Digital Marketing
Jelneck said companies are taking steps to fight back. Amazon's policy states that “if we see pricing practices on a marketplace offer that harms customer trust, amazon can remove the buy box, remove the offer, suspend the ship option, or, in serious or repeated cases, suspend or terminate selling privileges.”
“Amazon just announced it removed a million products from the database for either gouging or misrepresentation of the product itself,” Jelneck added.
David Wheeler, the Vice President of the Central Florida Better Business Bureau advised against buying into the fear. He said if shoppers want to get something online that works, it is best to get professional advice. He said that “what you want to do is take your time, do your research. If you're inclined to buy a product, call your doctor first get their advice to see if it's gonna have any effect at all.”
The Better Business Bureau has a special scam-tracker section on their website to report price gougers.