State Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks with Reporter staff in 2018. File photo

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks with Reporter staff in 2018. File photo

AG Ferguson takes actions to respond to coronavirus

The attorney general’s office warned of scammers and announced a formal investigation into price gouging.

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-complaint.


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