Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the feds to take the gloves off and knock out scammers peddling phony coronavirus cures.
With bogus remedies like music therapy, high-dose vitamin C injections, and Chinese herb concoctions infecting the market, Schumer said it’s time for the Federal Trade Commission to take a hard line and slam the scammers with heavy fines.
“Right now what is the FTC doing to these quacks, to these fake scammers who are trying to take advantage of people in a desperate situation? Nothing,” Schumer said Sunday. “A slap on the wrist. They send them a so-called warning letter that has no consequence. You can take this warning letter and rip it up and put it in the garbage.”
“And the word is out,” he said. “You come up with these fake scams you’re just going to get a letter. What does that say to scammers? Join the fun. Make money off innocent people.”
Schumer said the dozens of warning letters sent out by the federal agency have failed to curtail the flow of phony cures to a gullible and vulnerable market.
One Florida company has been selling intravenous infusions of vitamin C with a promise that it boosts the immune system and protects against the deadly global pandemic.
A New York-based company is peddling “Royal Jelly,” claiming the bee-pollen-based remedy can “boost your energy and cognitive functions.”
Yet another company is selling tunes with the promise that music frequencies can help resist the coronavirus, Schumer said. He said others pitch everything from homeopathic treatments and electromagnetic shields that claim to guard against the virus.
“Make no mistake: The FTCs warnings have sounded the alarm here and served as a necessary action,” he said. “But the old adage of ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ applies more than ever in this case. Warnings might not be enough.”
“It’s time to hit the scammers in the same place they are hitting the American consumer — deep in the pocket.”
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