Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.
- Several attorneys general have issued statements alerting consumers about issues related to COVID-19 testing. Michigan Attorney General Nessel warned consumers of bad actors exploiting the high demand for at-home testing kits by selling fake test kits online. Florida Attorney General Moody warned consumers of fake COVID-19 testing sites, imposter healthcare workers, and scam testing kits that seek to steal personal, financial or medical information. Illinois Attorney General Raoul warned consumers about ‘pop-up’ COVID-19 testing sites that are not licensed or regulated and price gouging of at-home COVID-19 testing kits. Additionally, California and New York took specific actions against fraudulent pricing issues related to COVID-19 tests.
- The National Association of Attorneys General filed a Reply Comment before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the FCC to enact measures to address the rising number of foreign-based robocalls attempting to scam Americans. The comment letter seeks to require gateway providers, companies that enable foreign calls, to implement measures to reduce the number of robocalls. The comment letter was signed by a bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general. Additionally, various attorneys general offices issued press releases providing information about foreign scam calls.
- California Attorney General Bonta issued a statement alerting Californians of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order prohibiting price gouging of COVID-19 tests. The Executive Order prohibits the sale of at-home COVID-19 tests kits at a price that exceeds, by more than 10%, the price the seller charged for test kits on December 1, 2021. New sellers of at-home COVID-19 test kits may not sell test kits for more than 50% of the price the seller paid to purchase the test kits.
- Connecticut Attorney General Tong announced a new online form to report data breaches that impact Connecticut residents. The new standardized, online submission form was implemented to help businesses comply with their obligation to notify the Office of the Attorney General when they experience a data breach. Under Connecticut law, businesses are required to provide notice to the Attorney General no later than the time when impacted residents are notified of any data breach.
- New York Attorney General James released the Bureau of Internet and Technology’s “Business Guide for Credential Stuffing Attacks.” The Guide details the office’s investigation into “credential stuffing” that uncovered over one million online accounts compromised in cyberattacks at 17 companies. The guide provides information to help businesses better protect customers against credential stuffing attacks by identifying various safeguards to prevent, detect, and respond to these attacks.
- New York Attorney General James launched an investigation into CareCube based on allegations that the company wrongfully billed customers for COVID-19 tests. The Attorney General advised patients to check their testing site to confirm no fee is associated with testing.
- Virginia Attorney General Herring issued a statement reminding Virginians that violations of Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. This statement was issued in response to Governor Northam declaring a state of emergency during the recent extreme winter weather. Such a declaration triggers the Anti-Price Gouging Act designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during an emergency.
Meet the New VA Attorney General: Jason Miyares
Jason Miyares (R) was sworn in as Virginia Attorney General on January 15, 2022 and is a former criminal prosecutor for the City of Virginia Beach, and former member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Miyares won the open seat to the 82nd District by the widest margin in the district’s history, in addition to becoming the first Cuban-American ever elected to the Virginia General Assembly. During his time as Delegate, Miyares fought for fiscal discipline and job creation. Miyares prides himself in becoming the first Virginia Attorney General in 225 years to be the child of an immigrant. As Attorney General, Miyares hopes to restore law and order, oppose illegal immigration, support election reform, keep public schools fully open, and recreate a pro-business Virginia.