Leading Retailers Encouraged by Hearings on COVID-19 Scams

Passing INFORM Consumers Act Would Help Combat Online Fraud

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) released the following statement during the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing on scams related to COVID-19. Executive Vice President, Public Affairs Michael Hanson urged Congress to combat the scams discussed in today’s hearing by passing the INFORM Consumers Act.

“Today’s hearing is a sober reminder that over the last year, while retailers across the country were investing in PPE and implementing safety protocols to protect employees and customers, criminal networks and scam artists have been using the pandemic to peddle counterfeit products, bogus remedies, knockoff vaccine cards, and other dangerous items.  

“Consumers are regularly warned about buying suspicious products, but its not enough for Congress to say, ‘Buyer Beware'. We need better transparency and accountability from large marketplace platforms like Amazon and Ebay to make it harder for criminals to hide their schemes behind fake screennames and bogus information.  

“We urge Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act to create the transparency consumers and law enforcement need to identify and weed out fraudulent sellers. Removing the anonymity on these platforms by creating basic accountability measures will protect consumers from illicit goods, aid law enforcement in their efforts to track organized crime, and make it harder for bad actors to build an illegal business and profit by selling counterfeit merchandise."


RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

  • Ensuring a Safe, Sustainable Future
  • Keeping Communities Safe
  • Organized Retail Crime
  • Product Safety
  • Public Policy

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter