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Every day we are reading about researchers studying potential ways to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. However, at this time there certainly are no products you can buy online, or services you can get at a neighborhood clinic, that are proven to work. But that doesn’t stop some sellers from pitching products that claim to protect or heal you.

Your takeaway: If there’s a medical breakthrough, you’re not going to hear about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch.

In the FTC’s latest round of warning letters to sellers of unproven products and services, the agency is seeing some far-fetched claims. The letters address a wide range of products and supposed treatments, including: listening to a music CD of frequencies to resist the Coronavirus, taking high doses of intravenous vitamin C, using Chinese herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, ozone therapy, bio-electric shields, HEPA air purifiers, UV light therapy, and more.

To date, the FTC has announced more than 120 warning letters sent to marketers making COVID-19 health claims for their products and services. For a complete list, see ftc.gov/coronavirus/warning-letters.

The letters tell the companies to immediately stop making all claims that their products can treat or cure the Coronavirus. The letters also require the companies to notify the FTC within 48 hours of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns. The agency will follow up with companies that fail to make adequate corrections.

The FTC also will continue to monitor social media, online marketplaces, and incoming complaints to help ensure that the companies do not continue to market fraudulent products under a different name or on another website.

Want more information on the latest scams we’re seeing? Sign up for our consumer alerts. See a product claiming to prevent, treat or cure the Coronavirus? Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

11 Comments


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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.

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Tucman
May 07, 2020
Everyday, my email is flooded with all of these. Deleting is a daily routine. I shared this information.
Morton
May 08, 2020
This seems to say that vinyl gloves available online offer the user no protection. And that masks available online do nothing to protect those around the user. Are those statements really true?
FTC Staff
May 08, 2020

In reply to by Morton

The FTC sent 45 letters warning marketers to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

az
May 07, 2020
were all the products and supposed treatments tested by ftc.gov to prove they don't work or are you assuming they don't work
FTC Staff
May 08, 2020

In reply to by az

The FTC sent 45 letters warning marketers to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

The FTC previously sent warning letters to sellers of vitamins, herbs, colloidal silver, teas, essential oils, and other products pitched as scientifically proven coronavirus treatments or preventatives.intravenous (IV) “therapies” with high doses of Vitamin C, ozone therapy, and purported stem cell treatments.

Gladys
May 08, 2020
If HEPA air purifiers are far fetched protections against the virus, then airlines should not promote their HEPA filters on planes as making air travel safe.
michael
May 10, 2020
at this trying times and people are still scamming each other. when will be humans again.
Leslie Myles-S…
May 10, 2020
I received a document titled "The Epoch Times" which alleges that "there is a cure for the Chinese Community Party Pneumonia - Say No to the CCP." The claim is that if you denounce the Chinese Communist Party you will "miraculously " recover from CoVid-19 (which you must call the CCP).
Dakwonjanae
May 13, 2020
Deaf people who don’t know what do doing
Dale E
May 14, 2020
Stop warning them and start fining them! I'm suddenly getting 5 to 15 spam calls a day particularly for "Dealer Prep". I can't even stay focused on my job anymore because of these disruptions.