FTC Data Shows Record Surge in Online Shopping Complaints During Pandemic

More than half of reports involved items that were never delivered, with unreceived facemasks most frequently reported

For Release

Newly released data show that since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers have complained to the Federal Trade Commission in record numbers about problems related to online shopping.

The FTC’s latest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight shows that in April and May, the FTC received more than 34,000 complaints from consumers related to online shopping. More than 18,000 of those complaints related to items that were ordered but never delivered. The most common item reported not delivered was facemasks, with other reports including sanitizer, toilet paper, thermometers, and gloves as not received.

While online shopping complaints to the FTC have been on the rise for a number of years, reports of unreceived items in May 2020 alone represent a nearly two-fold increase over the number of reports in December 2019, the heart of the busy holiday shopping season.

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