The National Crime Agency is warning about a recent surge in scams on Amazon and eBay, related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon and eBay are failing to tackle those sellers who are trying to profit off of the current global pandemic, according to the consumer group ‘Which?’
‘Which?’ gave examples of such scam products, including a 50ml bottle of Carex antibacterial hand gel that was being sold for over £100 by multiple sellers on eBay, this product would usually be sold for £1.50.
There was also a medical thermometer which usually costs around £40, that was being sold for almost £150 by sellers on Amazon.
Baby formula that is usually priced at around £11, was found selling on eBay for £310, as several brands were offered at hugely inflated prices on the site.
Also on eBay, multiple bidders caused the price for a set of three bottles of Dettol antibacterial spray as well as three packets of antibacterial wipes to rise to £210.
The ‘Which?’ research suggested a failure of ‘filters’ and other checks put in place by eBay and Amazon to protect consumers, despite both having stated publicly that they have taken action on the issue.
Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection at Which?, has said:
“Online marketplaces have taken some action against coronavirus price gouging, but our investigation shows unscrupulous sellers are still cashing in on people’s fears by selling essential items at extortionate prices on eBay and Amazon.”
“The government should consider how it will work with the retail sector as a whole to keep the price of essential items reasonable as the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak continues.”