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Live Mic: FTC warns consumers to beware of coronavirus “cures”

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers not to fall for promises of coronavirus "cures" -- because there isn't one yet. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent warning letters to 10 multilevel marketing companies concerning claims made about their products treating, providing cures or preventing coronavirus.

One of those companies is doTerra, which sells essential oils, supplements or related products, based in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

The FTC’s letter to doTerra outlined examples such as a photo of doTerra-branded essential oils bottles accompanied by the hashtags ”#covid” and “#prevention,” according to a news report from CNBC.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are no products that are scientifically proven to treat or prevent coronavirus.

Watch out for fake cures

John W. Huber, who has served as the U.S. attorney for Utah since June 2015, spoke to Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic about scams surrounding COVID-19.

“What do those scams look like?” Lee asked Huber.

“One of them, which I think would be tantalizing to our seniors, is selling fake cures for COVID-19,” he said. “We know from the reliable experts that, unfortunately, we don’t have a proven treatment right now to cure this and to fight off the virus.

“And yet there are people on the internet otherwise advertising that they’ve got the cure-all. They’ve got this panacea that’s going to attack the pandemic.

“That’s one that we’re actually seeing in Utah and have active investigations of people trying to sell these fake cures for COVID-19,” Huber said.

Again, there is no cure right now for coronavirus. 

“We know that there are experts, both in the public and private sectors, who are working toward this. But we are not yet there. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant or lying to you,” Lee said.

Lee also counseled listeners to heed Huber’s advice and keep an eye on the elderly members in the family who are vulnerable to scams claiming to cure coronavirus.


 

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States