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Scammers follow the headlines. They take advantage of what’s happening in the news to find new ways to get people to part with their money. During the COVID pandemic, cleaning supplies have been in high demand, but often in short supply. Scammers see that as opportunity knocking.

Today, the FTC announced a complaint against defendants who are using fake websites (with real product names in the web address) and real product images and logos of well-known brands like Clorox and Lysol — all to make people think they’re buying products from the companies’ official websites.

Image showing fake ad for CloroxThe FTC says that none of the sites are owned by, affiliated with, or authorized by the companies that make Clorox and Lysol, and that none of the people who paid for cleaning and disinfecting products from these sites got what they ordered.

The FTC is working to shut down the sites, stop the defendants from setting up future sites, and help people protect themselves against these kinds of scams.

Before you order from an unfamiliar online store, consider these tips to help avoid a scam:

  • When trying to find items that you know are in high demand and short supply – like cleaning supplies or PPE in the middle of a pandemic – you need to be extra careful when buying online, especially if the seller is offering items that are generally out of stock elsewhere.
  • Look at the terms of the sale. Calculate the total price, including taxes, shipping, and handling. Find out when you can expect your delivery. If you have to return the item, can you get a refund? Who pays for return shipping? Is there a restocking fee?
  • Pay by credit card. You’ll get protections under federal law, so you don’t have to pay for merchandise you ordered but didn’t get.
  • If you have a problem with an online purchase, try to work it out with the seller, but remember: you have the right to reverse an unauthorized or fraudulent charge directly with your credit card issuer by filing a chargeback dispute. And if you suspect a scam, let the FTC know at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. To learn more about avoiding COVID-related scams, visit ftc.gov/coronavirus.

29 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
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Jaded Consumer
November 05, 2020
Sometimes small wording or grammatical mistakes can alert us to scam sites. In the ad featured above, for example, note the misspelling of shipping (shiping).
cwest1ne
November 06, 2020
And, watch for misspellings in the ads like the one shown.
KG88
November 05, 2020
A few months back, I saw an email solicitation pretending to be selling Lysol spray at a reasonable price, which was UNreasonable at the time. When I looked at the S&H charges, I laughed when I saw they were twice the price of the Lysol spray itself! If I’d had your reporting info at the time, I would’ve gladly provided you with the specific contact information within that scammer’s email.
Jesse Bailey
November 05, 2020
What is FTC doing about corner retail stores such as Dollar General for one that sell to their customers fake Clorox for the real name brand items for household use laundry etc?
FTC Staff
November 10, 2020

In reply to by Jesse Bailey

You can report a business practice to the FTC at www.ReporFraud.FTC.gov.

alannajm
November 05, 2020
Check the spelling in the advertisement or website as well. "Shipping" is spelled wrong in the example you gave us. A misspelling such as this might mean it is a scam.
scammed
November 05, 2020
I was also scammed in the Lysol Flash sale ....it is very stressful and spent weeks to get my money back ...I still need product of course but learned my lesson my advice just do not fall for the scam ,regardless how authentic the site looks like...they are scams and will take your money !
Blonde
December 15, 2020

In reply to by scammed

I bought 57.dollars worth of Lysol.the company that my money was sent was lysolus or lysine.how do I get my money back.. .I tried many times to contact them.HELP !!!!!
Alert99
November 10, 2020
I just looked up online to find clorox wipes and came across a site clxwps. com - It has a Copyright 2020 The Clorox company. I cant say its a good or bad site - but was just about to order, and then I came across your information I will not be making an order. Thank you. I kind of wondered how they had so much stock when you can hardly get it at Walmart.
Jr0502
November 06, 2020
That happened to me and I was using PayPal. I reported it to paypal and two weeks in an still no response
Seispro
November 08, 2020

In reply to by Jr0502

It doesn’t surprise me PayPal has yet to come to your defense. My experience taught me they favor the vendor without evidence of delivery. Tracked my order from China to Mexico City. Never left but PayPal said the vendor “told them” it was delivered, in spite of the tracking data
AC
November 06, 2020
Look at their contact phone number and addresses. Call them to make sure it is a legit number and Google the address.
BerniceDelaneu51
November 13, 2020
There is a site, www. lem new. . this is a fake, Clorex website. I ordered some items, paid a outraged shipping fee but never got the items I bought. Luckily I used PayPal to pay for my items but now the seller is saying my items were shipped and it's going to turn into a fight to get this resolved. Went to Walmart yesterday and they had Clorex wipes on shelves.
MsChiliPepper
November 06, 2020
Three times in the past 6 months I was scammed for over $50.00 each for cans of Lysol Disinfectant Spray. Thank goodness PayPal was able to get my money back. And I was able to go back, get their information and reported them to FTC... That was about 3 months ago when I reported them. Today, after reading this, I went back and checked their websites which I had bookmarked and written down. Those so called merchants were longer found. Good job, FTC!!
Linda R.
November 06, 2020
Amonth ago i went to a lysol website and ordered a substantial amount of their products 140.72 the name came up Brandin Rabren and the other was in Chinese no english.name. they said 10 - 20 day delivery. Nothing no e-mail no delivery as of today 11/6/2020 I am so mad cause I'm on a fixed income. How do I get my money back??
Carl Bowles
November 13, 2020
Dishonesty is so rampant. Everything is questionable, this is horrible.
Michael
November 13, 2020
I'm glad that I read this, I'm not going to take anybody word on line. If the grocery store doesn't have it, I'll do without. I've got enough Clorox & Bleach, I bought @ Walmart just recently. And I'm not going to take scams, that I hear about on the television or read about . That you post up on my Email.
cash1
November 06, 2020
lysol site is a scam flash sale......cheap prices..........callled distributor and they do not sell online.
Karri
November 09, 2020
I ordered lysol wipes from Company "Office Aero" . They charged my credit card immediately but 5 weeks later I still haven't received product although they are still offering what I ordered on website and saying delivery in 5 to 7 business days. Tried to cancel order but there isn't a place on their site to do so! Buyer Beware!
PayAttention
November 10, 2020
You cannot go by the list provided of companies with actions being taken against. More will just pop up as others get taken down. Cloroxn.com is one such example.
linc
November 13, 2020
I files a complaint about the fake Lysol product sales last night at 9:45pm and today at 1:09am I received an email from the fake Lysol site. How is this possible?
Tcassel817
November 19, 2020
I ordered clorox wipes from a website clxwps.com My shipment tracked to a California address, I live in Delaware. They have not responded to my request for a refund. I should've realized this site was too good to be true. My next step is to contact my bank to dispute the charge.
Rue55
December 24, 2020
Great so we had made a purchase back on November 2nd 2020. I was just going to try to get a hold of them to see where my order is. Apparently my money is lost to the scammers , hopefully not too much info though!!
Stephanie
December 31, 2020
I was scammed and ordered from Lysolc8.com on Nov 10, 2020 and have not received my order.
Valley Lady
January 19, 2021
I was scammed by person selling lysol products. He never sent me a receipt or shipping name. Paypal contacted him and he said it had been sent. My request to get a refund was denied by PayPal . Lost $35.00. Watch out for these people!!
TMMAR
February 10, 2021
Unfortunately I didn’t go through the protocols when I what I thought would Lysol with pretty good but 3 months later; I still have not received my products. I sent out 2 emails to the company to only get the standard generated response(It takes 10-20 business days to receive what you’ve ordered). So, I finally got fed up with the whole situation and contacted my bank. Even though I ordered the products last December, I was able to get a refund. Although I had to send out a snapshot of my “supposedly “ account with the company and a copy of the 2 emails that I received the from the fake company.
Julie C.
September 16, 2021
I'm actually responding to one now. How can I give u the info! It's not just this one either. In the the past 4 days I've dealt with 14!! I'm obviously not going to fall for it but it wasted hours of my time!??!