The COVID-19 pandemic creates the perfect storm of hopes and fears that dishonest business try to exploit with fake promises of protection and healing. But when these promises are not backed by science, the consequences can often cost you money and your good health.
The FTC filed a complaint to stop Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics, from making claims that Thrive, a pill with Vitamin C and herbal extracts, is scientifically proven to prevent or treat illnesses like COVID-19. The defendant claimed Thrive boosts immunity to help protect people from getting COVID-19 — and would treat the disease if they get it. What’s more, Mr. Ching claimed that several CBD products sold by Whole Leaf Organics — including CBD-EX, CBD-RX and CBD-MAX — treat cancer. But the FTC says there is no solid scientific evidence backing up those claims. In fact, Mr. Ching has agreed to a preliminary order in a California federal court that says he can’t say Thrive works against COVID-19, or that CBD-EX, CBD-RX and CBD-MAX are effective cancer treatments.
The best way to fight the Coronavirus is with facts, not false promises. Follow these tips:
- If you’re tempted to buy a product claiming to protect you from COVID-19, or to treat cancer, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.
- Stay informed. To learn more about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC’s FAQ page. Visit the FDA to learn about the development and approval of treatments for the Coronavirus.
- Sign up for consumer alerts from the FTC. Also, check out the FTC's Coronavirus information page at ftc.gov/coronavirus.
- See a product claiming to treat, cure or prevent the Coronavirus? Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.