It’s no secret that corona virus fraud is booming (the FCC has issued a guide to preventing these scams), and New York is now putting legal pressure to stop it. Attorney General of the State of Letitia James has instructed Craigslist to “immediately” remove advertisements that either sell counterfeit COVID-19 treatments or set prices for items such as hand sanitizers. James has also asked Craigslist to make all “proactive efforts” to identify and secure these ads.

In addition, James has sent letters to GoDaddy and five other Internet registrars asking them to stop domain names from being registered for virus scams and to delete the names used. Although this was not an order, the Attorney General warned that these websites may violate “multiple laws” in addition to the terms of use.

It is not surprising that companies step up their measures when they have not. Even if they are not forced to serve the public interest, legal threats and negative public perception can affect the balance. Regardless of the motives, the process could prove crucial if it prevents people from wasting money and exposure to the virus.

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