Surely no one would exploit a global pandemic and national crisis?
Earlier in the week, we cautioned our readers about price gouging.
Now, unfortunately, we have to warn you about con artists exploiting fears and taking advantage of the most vulnerable.
The very thought of COVID-19, coronavirus, scams is just appalling.
Nevertheless, it is a reality.
Snake oil hucksters selling supposed cures or vaccines are looking for vulnerable marks using internet scams, robocalls and whatever others means they can find to fleece the public.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a few simple guidelines that include:
— 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 or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the World Health Organization.
— 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.
Unbelievably the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have had to send stern warnings to multiple sellers of unapproved and misbranded products that claim they can treat or prevent the coronavirus. Those bogus products include teas, essential oils and colloidal silver.
The FTC said there is zero evidence to back up the health claims of these con artists.
To be clear, there is no cure for the coronavirus right now.
There is no vaccine to prevent it.
If you get sick, or think you have been exposed, you need to seek medical attention not snake oil salesmen.