BBB warns: Be careful purchasing from unknown websites during COVID-19

MILWAUKEE -- With shortages of sanitizers, disinfectants, masks and paper products seen throughout the country since the COVID-19 virus first surfaced, BBB warns that websites selling these and other related products are also continuing to surface.

Since mid-April, BBB Wisconsin has received nineteen complaints against from consumers in fifteen states.

According to a press release from the BBB, complaints allege consumers purchased items such as Clorox wipes and toilet paper, but also one consumer purchased an outdoor shed and two say they purchased TV’s and Nintendo sets, spending anywhere from $10 - $600. The complainants state they have not received their items and cannot reach the company. As of mid-May, BBB Serving Wisconsin notes that the website, created in mid-February, is no longer active.

In addition, about 40 consumers per day are inquiring about the company at This means that people are checking on the company, likely before doing business.

The Dodgeville, Wisconsin address that was listed on the defunct website was of a home in a residential area, not associated with any company.

“It is not unusual to see fake addresses listed on these new retail shopping sites springing up, says Jim Temmer, CEO and president of BBB Serving Wisconsin. “Scammers ‘hijack’ legitimate addresses and tack them on to a site, making it look as if they have a brick and mortar establishment.”

As reported last month, an investigation by BBB Wisconsin shows that most of these websites are newly created, within the last couple months. And, as quickly as they surface, many quickly disappear. The perpetrators behind the websites keep their identity private, and often disband the sites soon after they’ve created them and have taken your money.

BBB offers these tips when shopping online:

        Read more Tips for Smart Shopping Online.

        See more COVID-19 related scams.

        If you encounter a scam, please report it to our BBB Scam Tracker at Even if you don’t fall victim to the scam, the information allows you to share your experience with others and helps to protect the public from scammers.