ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr is warning consumers about scams – ads, promotions, and websites – that claim their products can treat, prevent or cure the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Additionally, Carr is helping reinforce The White House National Security Council’s message about misinformation concerning a national lockdown or quarantine and helping reinforce local law enforcement warnings to consumers about door-to-door and drive-by testing solicitations.
“Scammers may try to take advantage of consumers during a time when fears and health concerns are at an all-time high,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “At best, these fake cures are simply a waste of money, while at worst, they can have dire consequences.”
The following companies have received warning letters from the FTC and FDA for selling unapproved or misbranded products that the companies claimed could treat or prevent the Coronavirus:
- Vital Silver
- Aromatherapy Ltd.
- GuruNanda, LLC
- Vivify Holistic Clinic
- Herbal Amy LLC
- The Jim Bakker Show
The FDA has also warned consumers against drinking a product called “Miracle Mineral Solution” or “MMS,” which has been touted as a way to prevent coronavirus and cure a myriad of other illnesses, including cancer and HIV/AIDS. The FDA warns that this product is essentially a “dangerous bleach” that could cause severe vomiting and acute liver failure. Consumers should also be wary of claims that products containing colloidal silver can prevent or cure the Coronavirus. Not only is there no medical evidence supporting these claims, the FDA and National Institutes of Health warn that colloidal silver is not safe to use and can even cause argyria, a bluish-gray skin discoloration that’s typically permanent. If you’re tempted to buy an unproven product or one with uncertain claims, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.
Additionally, the federal government is trying to reinforce trusted information sources like The White House, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization as the primary communicators for national public updates. There are many misinformation campaigns circulating that are designed to deceive and disrupt, and we don’t want Georgians to fall victim. The White House National Security Council last night issued this statement on misinformation campaigns circulating via text message and other forms of digital media:
- @WHNSC: As we saw over the wkend, disinfo is being spread online about a supposed national lockdown and grounding flights. Be skeptical of rumors. Make sure you’re getting info from legitimate sources. The @WhiteHouse is holding daily briefings and @cdcgov is providing the latest.
And finally, we’re joining local law enforcement agencies across Georgia in urging Georgians to be very skeptical of those who are going door-to-door or driving around town offering COVID-19 testing. Do your homework. Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health or the CDC’s websites for more on testing.
To report scams, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division:
- CALL: 404-651-8600 inside the metro Atlanta area
- CALL: 1-800-869-1123 toll-free outside of the metro Atlanta calling area
- To report suspected scams or price gouging online, visit consumer.ga.gov.