While the Coronavirus pandemic has gotten somewhat better in much of the United States and vaccines are increasingly available, the pandemic still poses a significant health threat both here in the United States and around the world. However, even though the absolute best thing you can do to protect your self from COVID 19 is to get one of the FDA approved vaccines (I got both doses of the Pfizer vaccine) many people are still falling prey to unscrupulous scammers who are peddling phony cures and treatments for the Coronavirus. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it had sent out 30 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 almost 400 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 intravenous Vitamin C infusions, ozone therapy, iodine, peptide therapies, infrared saunas, nasal mists, ozone therapy, colloidal silver, botanicals and prebiotics/probiotics. 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 demanded the companies immediately stop making all claims that their products can prevent or treat the Coronavirus and threatened legal action if the companies did not cease making their false claims immediately. Fortunately, all of the companies contacted in the most recent round of letters from the FTC ceased marketing their products on demand.
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, the FDA https://www.fda.gov/patients/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-resources-patients or the Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/
Remember B.S. – Be skeptical. Whenever there will be breakthroughs to treat, prevent or cure any disease, particularly COVID 19 you are going to hear about it through legitimate news sources first rather than through ads in emails, text messages or posts on social media.
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.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”