May 7, 2020
Every day we are reading about researchers studying potential ways to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. However, at this time there certainly are no products you can buy online, or services you can get at a neighborhood clinic, that are proven to work. But that doesn’t stop some sellers from pitching products that claim to protect or heal you.
Your takeaway: If there’s a medical breakthrough, you’re not going to hear about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch.
In the FTC’s latest round of warning letters to sellers of unproven products and services, the agency is seeing some far-fetched claims. The letters address a wide range of products and supposed treatments, including: listening to a music CD of frequencies to resist the Coronavirus, taking high doses of intravenous vitamin C, using Chinese herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, ozone therapy, bio-electric shields, HEPA air purifiers, UV light therapy, and more.
To date, the FTC has announced more than 120 warning letters sent to marketers making COVID-19 health claims for their products and services. For a complete list, see ftc.gov/coronavirus/warning-letters.
The letters tell the companies to immediately stop making all claims that their products can treat or cure the Coronavirus. The letters also require the companies to notify the FTC within 48 hours of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns. The agency will follow up with companies that fail to make adequate corrections.
The FTC also will continue to monitor social media, online marketplaces, and incoming complaints to help ensure that the companies do not continue to market fraudulent products under a different name or on another website.