Column | Shopping online? Know your retailer and your rights


COVID opened the door for scammers to double down on their worst practices, while preying on consumers during an unprecedented global pandemic. That includes some bad actors who have been taking advantage of online shoppers in search of hard-to-find items like face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against one of those bad actors. The commission alleged that Frank Romero (doing business as Trend Deploy) failed to deliver advertised PPE on time – if at all. What’s more, Romero didn’t tell customers about shipping delays, offer order cancellations or give refunds. And even worse, although consumers thought Romero was selling them N95 masks, in reality Romero sent them cloth masks that did not have the protective qualities he promised. This case is part of the FTC’s continuing effort to address “online shopping” fraud that seeks to exploit high demand…

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