As part of our ongoing efforts to protect you from sellers of scam COVID-19 treatments, the FTC has sent 30 warning letters to companies that claimed their products can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. These letters gave the sellers 48 hours to notify the FTC of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns. Companies failing to make adequate corrections could have faced lawsuits under the 2020 COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act. Not only does the law make it illegal to deceptively market products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, it also lets the FTC seek financial penalties. The good news: as a result of these letters, all the companies have stopped making the false or deceptive claims.
The companies involved peddle everything from chiropractic adjustments, exercise sessions, nasal mists and rinses, vitamins, supplements, and extracts. There’s a slew of therapies with impressive names like peptide, oxidative, stem cell, ozone, intravenous vitamin, and infrared sauna therapy. 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.
When it comes to fighting COVID-19 and spotting unsupported treatment claims, follow these tips:
- When there’s a medical breakthrough to treat, prevent, or cure a disease, you’re not going to hear about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch.
- Always talk with your doctor or healthcare professional before you try any product claiming to treat, prevent, or cure COVID-19.
- Visit CDC.gov and the FDA.gov for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and available vaccines.
Now, share what you know, and ask others to do the same.
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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