Screenshot_2020-03-12 (42) Federal Trade Commission - Posts

[Coronavirus\Fake Treatments]
Attorney General James: “We will continue to go after any company that attempts to deceive the public, especially during this public health crisis.”
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New York Attorney General Letitia James Wednesday ordered two companies to immediately cease and desist selling and marketing products as a treatment or cure for the coronavirus.

The first notice was sent to The Silver Edge company, which claims its Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator “beats coronavirus” and that there is “clinical documentation” to prove it. The second notice was sent to Dr. Sherrill Sellman, who has been marketing colloidal silver products as a cure for coronavirus and selling them on her website and on the Jim Bakker Show. There is currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccine to prevent the disease or treatment to cure it, and the World Health Organization has also said that there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat this disease.

“Falsely marketing products as a treatment for a serious disease and charging steep prices is deeply unethical and unlawful,” said Attorney General James. “We will continue to go after any company that attempts to deceive the public, especially during this public health crisis.”

Attorney General James recently ordered the Jim Bakker Show to stop marketing Dr. Sellman’s Silver Solution products as a treatment for coronavirus after claiming on television that they were proven to treat strains of the virus. The Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator — which retails for $249.95 — is currently sold out, suggesting that many individuals might believe the company’s deceptive marketing.

Beyond this fraud, both companies also tout the use of colloidal silver as the main ingredient in their products. According to the National Institutes of Health, colloidal silver can actually be dangerous to a person’s health, and the FDA has warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition. Countless scientific studies have also determined that there is no evidence to support the use of colloidal silver as a treatment for any disease or condition.

In addition to ordering the companies to immediately cease and desist these activities, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) also ordered Dr. Sellman to immediately affix a disclaimer on her website to make clear that her products have not been evaluated by the FDA and that none of her products are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Attorney General James has also issued cease and desist notifications to multiple businesses in New York for charging excessive prices for hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays, and rubbing alcohol — a violation of New York’s price gouging statute. That statute prohibits the sale of goods and services necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers at unconscionably excessive prices during any abnormal disruption of the market.

The OAG continues to surveil and monitor businesses across the state for potential scams and price gouging schemes designed to exploit public concern related to the spread of the coronavirus. Scammers commonly exploit real public health concerns and use heightened public fear to prey on consumers and profit from frauds related to those health fears.

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam or have witnessed potential price gouging, please report these incidents to the OAG.

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