Beware of COVID-19 “Miracle Cures”April 27, 2020
Unfortunately, the current international crisis, while bringing out the best in some, has brought out the worst in others. Numerous unscrupulous hucksters (which include medical doctors among their ranks) have been peddling so-called “miracle cures” or products providing “temporary immunization” to the COVID-19 virus.
Companies have been offering hydroxychloroquine in plain brown wrappings (along with generic Xanax and Viagra) without prescriptions, “patent pending” pills, injectable serums, and counterfeit surgical masks which offer little or no protection. These products are being advertised via Instagram, You Tube, and other social media platforms. Some federal agencies have already been fraudulently induced to front millions of dollars for personal protection equipment which never materialized before the contracting entities disappeared.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively involved in pursuing such scams and has indicated that it will use “a variety of tools to identify anyone who exploits the current crisis…..and is proactively warning the public…”. Several investigations have already resulted in criminal indictments and administrative enforcement actions.
The bottom line strategy is to question all “pay in advance” schemes, treat all proposals the same way you would ordinarily treat potential internet scams, verify questionable companies with local Better Business Bureaus, and remember two things: if an offer is too good to be true, it’s not, and there are no quick fixes or cures out there, at present.
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@ 2020 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.