Inform Consumers Act

Organized gangs continue to profit off goods stolen from Georgia retailers by selling them on online platforms. Nationwide, this illegal activity costs retailers billions of dollars a year. The Inform Consumers Act, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kemp, went into effect on January 1, 2023. The goal of this legislation is to prevent criminals from selling stolen goods on any online marketplace platform and to protect Georgians who unknowingly purchase these stolen and counterfeit goods. Also be aware that a federal version of the INFORM Consumers Act, effective June 27, 2023, provides state Attorney Generals with additional enforcement mechanisms to bring a civil action in district court against any online marketplace believed to be in violation of the Act.

The Georgia Inform Consumers Act establishes financial and contact information requirements and disclosures for third-party, high-volume sellers operating on online marketplaces. Failure to comply with these provisions shall be considered an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act and could result in the imposition of significant civil penalties. A ”high-volume seller” is defined as a third-party seller who, in any continuous 12-month period during the previous 24 months, has entered into 200 or more sales or transactions through the online marketplace for an aggregate total of $5,000 or more in gross revenues in this state. A seller whose annual revenue in the online marketplace exceeds $20,000 must also provide its contact information to consumers. The law also requires that online marketplaces establish a mechanism that allows consumers to report suspicious activity.

Here are examples of suspicious activity that a consumer should report to the online marketplace:

  • You receive an item that looks to be fake or counterfeit.
  • You receive an item that’s different from what you ordered — maybe it doesn’t look like the picture on the product page, or it came in a different quantity.
  • You receive an item that has unexpected signs of deterioration or use.
  • You receive an item that's expired.
  • You see a seller advertising branded merchandise at unusually low prices.

Tips to stay safe when shopping on online marketplaces:

  • Stay on the marketplace. Don’t let a seller lure you onto another website or chat to complete a sale. Scammers know that if you do so, you may not have the same protections against fraud that the original marketplace offers.
  • Beware of unusual payment method requests. Insistence that you pay via gift cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or money transfer debit cards are a huge red flag of a scam. In addition, be wary of using peer-to-peer payment apps, such as Venmo, CashApp, or Zelle. With all these methods of payment, once you send the money, getting it back is virtually impossible if you later realize you were scammed. 
  • Never accept payment for more than the item price. If you are selling merchandise through an online marketplace, you should be aware that scammers may offer to send you a payment for more than the sales price and ask you to send them or their agent the difference, typically via one of the hard-to-trace methods mentioned above. However, the check they send you is counterfeit, and you will likely be unable to recover the money that you sent.
  • Never provide sensitive information to a seller, such as your bank account information, login credentials, or Social Security number. Doing so can expose you to financial fraud and identity theft.

Consumers who suspect a scam or unfair business practice should contact the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at or 404-651-8600.