FTC sues online PPE seller, alleges it broke federal laws

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint June 30 against an online marketer for allegedly falsely promising it could quickly deliver face masks and other personal protective equipment, then later failing to deliver customer orders. It also is accused of not offering cancellations and refunds. 

The complaint alleges that Frank Romero, doing business as Trend Deploy, advertised the availability and quick delivery of PPE, including N95 masks, even though he didn't have the ability to fulfill orders. 

Mr. Romero allegedly failed to deliver PPE orders on time, if at all, failed to notify customers of delayed shipments, and failed to offer cancellations and refunds, as is required by the FTC. He also allegedly often sent products inferior to those advertised, such as sending cloth masks instead of N95s. 

The FTC alleges Mr. Romero violated the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, the FTC's mail order rule and the FTC Act, which outlaws unfair methods of competition and unfair acts or practices that affect commerce. The agency is seeking monetary relief for Mr. Romero's customers as well as civil penalties. 

Read the FTC's full news release here

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