Companies warned to stop selling fake COVID-19 treatments and cures

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Credit: FTC

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently sent warning letters to several companies that claim their products can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19.

The FTC says that these companies are selling items 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. There is no evidence, as required by law, that they work against the virus.

This is the ninth set of warning letters the FTC has announced as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 scams. In all, the Commission has sent similar letters to more than 330 companies and individuals.

In the letters, the FTC states that one or more of the efficacy claims made by the marketers are unsubstantiated because they are not supported by scientific evidence, and therefore violate the FTC Act. The letters advise the recipients to immediately stop making all claims that their products can prevent or treat COVID-19, and to notify the Commission within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.

The letters also note that if the false claims do not cease, the Commission may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers. Last April, the FTC announced its first such case against a marketer of a purported COVID-19 treatment, Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics. The case was settled in early July, with Ching agreeing to an order barring him from making the allegedly deceptive claims.

The FTC sent the letters announced today to the companies and individuals listed below. The recipients are grouped based on the type of therapy, product, or service they pitched as preventing or treating COVID-19.

Bead Bracelets:

Copper Water Bottles:

Fitness Classes/Personal Training:

Indoor Tanning/Red Light Therapy/Intravenous Ultraviolet Light Therapy:

Peptide Therapies/Intravenous Vitamin Drips and Injections/Intravenous Laser Therapy:

Ozone Therapy/Stem Cell Therapy and Immunotherapy/Intravenous Therapy:

Supplements:

Water Filtration Systems:

You can learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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