Scam Report: Unsubstantiated COVID-19 Treatment Claims Appear on Social Media Platforms

November 22, 2021

by Spero Financial

The Federal Trade Commission is alerting consumers on "Unsubstantiated COVID-19 treatment claims appear on social media platforms."

Excerpt from the Federal Trade Commission article "Unsubstantiated COVID-19 treatment claims appear on social media platforms."

Since the pandemic began, the Federal Trade Commission has sent hundreds of cease and desist letters to companies that claimed their products and therapies can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. The sellers promoted their products and services through a variety of outlets, including social media.

Social media platforms have played a major role in conveying information about how to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But just because the information is running on a platform you use doesn’t mean it’s accurate or truthful. Right now, no one can afford to take information at face value. Before you act on a message you’ve seen or before you share it, ask — and answer — these critical questions:

  • Who is the message from? Do I know them? Do I trust them? Am I positive they are who they say they are?
  • What do they want me to do? Just know something — or are they trying to get me to act in some way? Do they want me to buy something, download something, or give up personal info?
  • What evidence supports the message? Use some independent sources to fact-check it — or debunk it. Maybe talk to someone you trust. But always verify, using a few additional sources. Once you’ve done that, does the message still seem accurate? Approaching information by asking and answering these questions can help you sort out what’s helpful…and what’s a scam. So, for example, if the message is about a treatment or cure, you know where to go: Coronavirus.gov or cdc.gov.

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