Here at the FTC, we’ve seen people pitching COVID treatments like gemstone bead bracelets, water filtration systems, indoor tanning with red light UV therapy, copper water bottles, high dose vitamin C IV drips, juices and supplements, stem cell treatments, ozone therapy, laser light treatments, and more. All of these products and treatments have one thing in common: there is no evidence — as required by law — that they work against the Coronavirus.
As part of our ongoing efforts to protect consumers from sellers of scam COVID-19 treatments, the FTC has sent 20 more warning letters to companies that claim their products can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19.
Like the hundreds of other warning letters the FTC has sent to other companies, these letters require the sellers to notify the FTC within 48 hours of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns. The FTC will follow up with companies that fail to make adequate corrections. The good news: in nearly all cases so far, those who get the letters have stopped making the false claims or selling the scam product or treatment.
When it comes to the fight against the Coronavirus, knowing the facts will help. If there’s a medical breakthrough, you’re not going to hear about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch.
Here are tips to follow and share with others:
- Always talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional before you try any product claiming to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19.
- Head to CDC.gov for clear and concise information on COVID-19. In addition, visit the FDA’s resources page to find out about treatments in development.
- Learn more about scams related to COVID-19 by visiting ftc.gov/coronavirus and subscribing to Consumer Alerts from the FTC.
- If you find a product that claims to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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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- 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.
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