The European Commission is closely following the issue of COVID-19 related scams and unfair practices that may happen when buying products online such as protective masks, detergents or other substances, that are not fit or safe for consumers. After analyzing the situation, the consumer protection (CPC) authorities of the Member States have endorsed and published a common CPC position (available here) which highlights the most commonly reported consumer scams and unfair commercial practices in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The most common scams and unfair practices identified in the CP position are unsupported claims that products prevent or cure the COVID-19 infection and pressure selling techniques and excessive pricing. Towards the end of March, Justice and Consumers Commissioner, Didier Reynders, wrote to several platforms active in the EU, including e-commerce marketplaces, asking them to closely cooperate with the EU Commission and the CPC authorities. All platforms positively replied to the letter of the Commissioner and explained what measures they have already put in place or plan to adopt to fight these scams.
The Commission, together with the CPC authorities, will continue to closely monitor the evolution of online markets.