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Georgia Attorney General Carr issues warnings about COVID-19 scams
Coronavirus
Photo courtesy of Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the last week, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr issued several warnings to the general public regarding scams and misinformation campaigns concerning coronavirus (COVID-19), which have been uncovered by state authorities.

According to a series of press releases by the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, Georgians should be vigilant of scam products claiming to treat, prevent or cure COVID-19, and misinformation campaigns designed to steal and disrupt local, state and federal responses to the pandemic.

“Criminals continue to exploit the COVID-19 outbreak – trying to steal, deceive and disrupt,” Carr said in the release.

Reports that checks to support Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak are currently available, is false, the report states. Congress is still debating the legislation that would make those checks possible.

“Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer,” the release said. “If passed, the government will not text you nor ask you to pay anything up front to get this money, and the government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.”

The attorney general’s office also reinforced local law enforcement’s warnings about door-to-door or drive-by solicitors trying to test people for the COVID-19.

“Scammers may try to take advantage of consumers during a time when fears and health concerns are at an all-time high,” Carr said. “At best, these fake cures are simply a waste of money, while at worst, they can have dire consequences.”

The following companies have also been warned by the FDA and FTC for selling unapproved or misbranded products claimed to prevent or treat COVID-19 symptoms:

· Vital Silver

· Aromatherapy Ltd.

· N-ergetics

· GuruNanda LLC

· Vivify Holistic Clinic

· Herbal Amy LLC

· The Jim Bakker Show

Georgians have also been warned against drinking a product claiming to prevent coronavirus, called the “Miracle Mineral Solution” which the FDA states is “essentially a dangerous bleach.”

According to the release, consumers should also be skeptical of products containing colloidal silver claiming to prevent COVID-19. The release stated that there is no medical evidence supporting these claims, and the FDA and National Institutes of Health have warned that colloidal silver can sometimes cause argyria, a bluish-gray skin discoloration that typically ends up 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,” the release states.

Citizens are encouraged to get their information from trusted sources The White House, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. To report suspected product scams or price gouging visit consumer.ga.gov.