FTC cracking down on COVID-19 treatment claims, puppy scams

Published: Apr. 26, 2020 at 12:32 PM CDT
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As WBAY continues to follow spikes in scams during the pandemic, we're learning of two more scams you should be aware of.

Officials with the Federal Trade Commission say they're taking action to stop false ads about treatments, including sellers of supplements, oils, teas, stem cell infusions and acupuncture.

The FTC is sending out 21 more warning letters, adding the actions they already took.

Within the past month, nearly 60 companies throughout the United States have received warning letters from the FTC to stop marketing unsupported claims that their therapies can effectively treat or cure COVID-19.

Earlier this month, WBAY told you about fake offers for loans targeting small businesses.


The FTC is taking action in one case, to stop a company posing as an SBA lender with an offer of coronavirus relief through the paycheck protection program.

Joe Simons, the Chairman, issued a statement, saying, "In this time of incredible challenge for all Americans, it is disturbing to see these defendants preying on desperate businesses."

If you're shopping online for a mask, the BBB of Wisconsin is urging you to do your research.

"The kind of complaints that we're getting from people who are trying to purchase a mask online is that it doesn't show up, or it takes forever to show up, or that it's not as was advertised," says Susan Bach of the Wisconsin BBB. "It was advertised to be medical grade type mask and it's not. This is the time you really want to put five minutes worth of research in to make sure you're using a quality site, and retailer, before you put any money down at all."

Also coming into the BB's scam tracker - reports of puppy scams, which are taking on a coronavirus twist.

People are being told they have to pay extra for a crate or insurance to have a pet shipped because of the coronavirus.

They were also asked for payment with a gift card or mobile banking.

These are red flags that the dealer probably doesn't have the pet they're trying to sell.

The BBB says look to adopt from a local shelter, and to do your research before falling to an online scam.