The Division of Consumer Affairs in the state attorney general’s office has been keeping tabs on fraud and consumer complaints related to COVID-19, with an especially keen eye on allegations of price gouging.
The Federal Trade Commission is also on the case, even maintaining complaint data dashboards for all the states. According to the commission, the biggest complaint by New Jersey consumers concerns travel and vacations, specifically hassles with cancellations and refunds. Nationally, the top trending complaint is about problems with online shopping — including items not arriving when promised or at all.
Commission data shows that from January 1 through June 8, Garden State consumers reported losing more than $2.1 million to fraud related to the pandemic, with a median loss of $334. In addition to travel and vacation, New Jersey consumers reported bad experiences with online shopping and with a variety of services and activities booked online, especially event cancellations.