FTC: Sellers need proof for COVID treatment claims

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from sellers of scam COVID-19 treatments, the FTC has sent 20 more warning letters to companies that claim their products can prevent, treat or cure the COVID-19. Claims for zappers, virus-busting cards, sage, oregano, and bay leaves are among the representations called into question in the latest round of warning letters.

Like the hundreds of other warning letters the FTC has sent to other companies, these letters require the sellers to notify the FTC within 48 hours of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns. The FTC will follow up with companies that fail to make adequate corrections. The good news: in nearly all cases so far, those who get the letters have stopped making the false claims or selling the scam product or treatment.

When it comes to the fight against the Coronavirus, knowing the facts will help. Here are tips to follow and share with others:

  • Always talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional before you try any product claiming to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19.
  • Head to CDC.gov for clear and concise information on COVID-19. In addition, visit the FDA’s Resources page to find out about treatments in development.
  • If you find a product that claims to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
By Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

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