The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it had sent out 20 more warning letters to companies marketing phony cures and treatments for the Coronavirus. This brings the total number of companies who have received such cease and desist letters to 350 and this number most likely represents only a small number of the companies trying to foist worthless cures and treatments on a public eager to find some defense to this pandemic. The most recent letters sent by the FTC focused on companies selling bogus treatments involving bead bracelets, copper water bottles, red light therapy, intravenous ultraviolet light therapy, peptide therapies, intravenous vitamin drips, intravenous laser therapy, ozone therapy, stem cell therapy and water filtration systems. None of the treatments or supposed cures have any scientific support for the claims that they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. In the warning letters the FTC demands the companies immediately stop making all claims that their products can prevent or treat the Coronavirus and threatens legal action if the companies do not cease making their false claims immediately.
Here is a link to the list of companies receiving the most recent warning letters: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2020/11/ftc-sends-letters-warning-20-more-marketers-stop-making
According to FTC Chairman Joe Simons, “There is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of Coronavirus. What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”
As for healthcare products in general, you should be skeptical about any company that promises miraculous cures to illnesses and medical conditions. The world is full of snake oil salesmen. You should also be wary of any healthcare product that is sold exclusively either over the Internet or through mail-order advertisements. The best course of action is to ask your physician about the effectiveness of a particular product or program before you buy it. As for the Coronavirus specifically, the best places to get reliable information are the World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus or the Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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