Price gouging: Businesses, scammers both targeted consumers during COVID

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American families know well the pain of school and business closures, remote work, layoffs and travel restrictions that resulted from COVID-19. But the pandemic also brought families a slew of challenges in the form of fraud, price-gouging, canceled prepaid events like vacations, changing refund policies, undelivered services and improbable cures.

Pandemic-related problems were among the “worst, fastest-growing and new” complaints compiled by the Consumer Federation of America in its 2020 survey, which included 34 city, county and state consumer agencies from 18 states. The report was unveiled Monday during a news conference in Washington, D.C.

“Business closings, job layoffs, supply chain disruptions, social distancing requirements, and travel restrictions put huge strain on consumers and businesses, generating complaints about everything from appliance repairs to child care, trash pickup to towing,” said Susan Grant, the federation’s…

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