COVID-19 Scams


Here is a collection of Scams that have been announced by Federal and State Agencies in regards to the current outbreak of COVID-19. Please be aware that thieves and con artists are looking to take advantage of people’s fears when it comes to COVID-19.  They are developing and selling bogus products, using websites, telemarketing, texts, emails and social media posts as a way to obtain your personal information and to ultimately take your money.  They may attempt to solicit donations for phony victims, promote awareness, prevention tips and fake information about cases in your community,  They may offer advice about unproven treatments, and contain spyware, malware or other malicious attachments.

  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) or other experts professing updated information about the virus.  If you want the most up to date information visit the websites of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Know who you are donating to, before making a donation, and don’t be pressured into making a donation, especially if they are asking for a donation of cash, gift card or by wiring money
  • Don’t Click on links from any sources that you don’t know, like unsolicited emails or ads, both could download a virus, spyware or malware onto your computer or device.  Make sure your anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date
  • Be suspicious about bogus “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure Coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

Helpful Links

Posted Scams by Date Located:

27 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Alerts Consumers About Unauthorized Fraudulent COVID-19 Test Kits

Fake Corona Virus Test Kits seized at LA Airport
Statement From:
Commissioner of Food and Drugs - Food and Drug Administration  Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.         
Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs - Office of Regulatory Affairs  Judith A. McMeekin, Pharm.D.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is actively and aggressively monitoring the market for any firms marketing products with fraudulent coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic, prevention and treatment claims as part of our ongoing efforts to protect public health during this pandemic. As a result of these activities, the agency is beginning to see unauthorized fraudulent test kits that are being marketed to test for COVID-19 in the home.

We want to alert the American public that, at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. The FDA sees the public health value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection, and we are actively working with test developers in this space. 

Fraudulent health claims, tests, and products can pose serious health risks. They may keep some patients from seeking care or delay necessary medical treatment. The FDA reminds consumers to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines and speak to your medical provider if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Your medical provider will advise you about whether you should get tested and the process for being tested with an appropriate test.

The FDA will take appropriate action to protect consumers from bad actors who take advantage of a crisis to deceive the public by marketing tests that pose risks to patient health. This may include issuing warning letters, seizures or injunctions. We have already identified and issued warning letters to companies found selling and promoting fraudulent items, and we expect additional such actions will be forthcoming. Additionally, we are stepping up enforcement at ports of entry, including International Mail Facilities, to ensure these fraudulent products that originate outside the country do not enter through our borders.

If you are aware of fraudulent test kits for COVID-19, please report them to the FDA. We will continue to aggressively pursue those who place the public health at risk and hold bad actors accountable.

As a reminder, the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America details simple actions we can take as individuals and families to #SlowTheSpread of coronavirus.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Full Release:

25 March 2020

Sprays and pills that cure it all? Not true.

FTC Consumer Information

by Rosario Méndez

Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

Marketers try to sell us things like sprays and pills that supposedly cure it all, help us lose weight, get rid of wrinkles, and more. But some marketers make claims about their products without having any proof and may lie about the results people experience after using their products. That’s what the FTC alleges Health Center Inc. and its owner Peggy Pearce, the telemarketers of Rejuvi-Cell, Rejuvi-Sea, and Rejuvi-Stem, did.

Health Center claimed its “Rejuvi” health products could cure everything from cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease to depression, diabetes, and obesity, either by spraying their homeopathic product, Rejuvi-Cell, under the tongue, or by taking a few pills of Rejuvi-Sea or Rejuvi-Stem. The FTC says that Health Center didn’t have any scientific evidence to back up those claims. And the testimonials on the company’s websites were written by employees, not actual customers. All these actions are deceptive, says the FTC.

When it comes to health issues, we all want a quick and easy solution. Add to that the pressure that telemarketers put on people, and it’s easy to see how someone may fall for empty promises. But there are a few things that we can learn from this case:

  • Don’t trust products that promise to cure lots of medical issues. Nothing can cure it all.
  • Traditional homeopathic products lack reliable scientific evidence for their claims of effectiveness. They are not evaluated for safety and effectiveness by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Take testimonials with a grain of salt. Look for reviews on your own. Search the product online and put words like “problems” or “complaints” to see what others are saying about the products.
  • It’s best to always consult a healthcare provider before trying a new medical treatment, especially if it’s for a serious condition.

22 March 2020