Although there is no known cure or approved medical treatment for the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, many unethical companies are taking advantage of rising public anxiety to turn a profit. Recently, the FTC and FDA issued a warning about coronavirus scams, urging consumers to stay on the lookout for products and treatments that can’t deliver on their fraudulent claims.
Additionally, the two agencies sent warning letters to 7 different companies selling products that could violate federal laws. From teas to colloidal silver, companies are not allowed to advertise that any of their products can treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 infection, as these claims have not been scientifically tested or proven at this time.
The seven companies sent warning letters by the FDA and FTC:
- Vital Silver
- Quintessence Aromatherapy Ltd.
- GuruNanda, LLC
- Vivify Holistic Clinic
- The Jim Bakker Show
- Herbal Amy LLC
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, the U.S. government has declared a national emergency and urged citizens to begin immediate social distancing measures to combat community outbreaks. Because of these drastic measures, there could be many companies in the coming weeks and months that will attempt to capitalize further on public fear.
To avoid falling prey to a coronavirus scam, keep these rules in mind:
- Follow experts for coronavirus announcements. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of coronavirus information – and misinformation – flooding social media right now. To ensure accuracy, seek out COVID-19 information and updates directly from accredited government sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do not be swayed by false advertising claims. As mentioned earlier in this post, there are currently no recommended or approved treatments, vaccines, preventative measures, or cures for the coronavirus. Any organizations that make these claims are likely engaging in false advertising practices and should be reported to the FTC.
- Research any charities or nonprofits before donating. In addition to “snake oil salesmen,” there are likely to be many individuals and organizations attempting to defraud consumers with false donation fronts. By putting in some extra research before you donate, you may be able to avoid becoming the victim of a financial scam.
At DiPasquale Moore, we hope that you and your family are able to stay safe during this difficult time.