INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When a natural disaster or emergency occurs, people get together to help. But others try to take advantage of your kindness in times like this. The federal government is already cracking down on scams related to the coronavirus.
The Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration have already sent warnings to seven people trying to sell unapproved coronavirus treatments. The FTC says the claims these companies are making – that their products can prevent or cure coronavirus – have no real evidence. The companies are selling things like teas, essential oils and colloidal silver.
On Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr asked federal prosecutors around the country to make investigations into coronavirus scams their priority. The national memo said these scams “cannot be tolerated.”
People posing as health experts aren’t the only coronavirus-related scams. Authorities are also warning about:
- Email and text phishing scams
- Stock investment scams
- Third-party sellers trying to sell you damaged or fake goods, or taking your money without ever sending the products
- Fake charities
- Price-gouging on safety or treatment products
The FDA wants to remind you there are no approved treatments or cures for coronavirus right now. The best thing to do is never click a link from a source you don’t know, do your homework on groups soliciting donations, and go directly to the CDC or WHO websites to get the latest information.