National Association of Attorneys General

National Association of Attorneys General National Association of Attorneys General

Attorneys General Encourage Online Vendors to Take Proactive Steps to Prevent Illegal Alcohol Sales Online

For Release: Oct. 22, 2019 | 11:30 a.m. ET

Contact: Ashley Wynstra | 202-326-6027 |

Twitter: @NatlAssnAttysGn

Washington, D.C. --- The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent letters to leading U.S. online vendors, asking them to undertake certain steps to curtail illegal alcohol sales online. Letters were sent to Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook.

Digital platforms have given risen to the sale of unlicensed and unregulated alcohol. The sale of illegal alcohol online may include counterfeit, mislabeled, or fraudulent products. This presents a risk to consumers, including minors, who are exposed to illegal products that may not meet health standards.

“We believe that everyone has an ethical and moral responsibility to protect consumers, especially those who are most vulnerable to fraud. Self-regulation and self-policing to prevent illegal and unfair trade practices and ensure consumer safety are minimum responsibilities for your respective companies. You have the technical prowess and power to accomplish basic protections against illegal sales,” reads the letter signed by 46 state and territory attorneys general, including NAAG President Jeff Landry (Louisiana) and Aaron Frey (Maine).

 To help address the issue, the attorneys general asked the vendors to take the following steps:

  1. Review the current content posted to their companies’ websites and remove illegal postings for the sales and/or transfer of alcohol products.
  2. Develop and deploy programming to block and prevent users of their platforms from violating state law by posting content for the sale and distribution of alcohol products on their websites. 

The attorneys general also asked the vendors to establish a working group with stakeholders to discuss and establish “realistic and effective protocols for internet platforms and content providers related to illegal and unlicensed alcohol sales via digital platforms.”

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high-quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

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