(WWLP) – Federal agencies are warning consumers to be aware of scammers taking advantage of fears of the coronavirus.
The FTC and FDA have issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent COVID-19. Those products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.
The FTC said the companies have no evidence to back up their claims as required by law and the FDA wants to make it clear that as of March 12, there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the coronavirus.
Below are guidelines provided by the FTC to help you avoid coronavirus scams:
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.