As the pandemic continues and Arkansans attempt to get back on their feet, a new COVID-19 scam has been identified by the Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s Office to target Hispanics.
The scam is seeking to target the Hispanic population in Arkansas where businesses are charging exorbitant amounts of money for COVID-19 tests and for “immunity boosts” that claim to prevent or treat COVID-19, with no credible proof from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Arkansas Health Department.
“Snake oil salesmen are taking advantage of vulnerable Arkansans by using fear to sell their expensive immunity boosts with some over $3,000,” said Rutledge. “When a vaccine is approved by the federal government, the information will be shared far and wide, but until then Arkansans are urged to avoid anyone peddling fake, expensive COVID-19 cures.”
Rutledge is currently investigating Arkansas companies, including chiropractic and medical practices, that are peddling preventatives, treatments and cures for COVID-19 that are not approved by the FDA. These are often advertised as “immunity boosting” treatments. Unfortunately, there are currently no cures, treatments, lotions, or potions to treat COVID-19.
Rutledge has offered the following tips for consumers about fraudulent COVID-19 cures and treatments:
• Avoid paying exorbitant fees for COVID-19 tests. Instead, visit the Arkansas Department of Health’s website to find locations of mass testing and clinics offering COVID-19 tests at no cost to consumers.
• Be cautious of health providers who claim they can cure, prevent, or lessen the effects of COVID-19 while charging high fees for their false claims.
• For questions about COVID-19, including where to find testing locations, call the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847. Find accurate information about COVID-19, including information about how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, what to do if you are sick and frequently asked questions, on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
If someone has been scammed by a business or suspect a scam related to the COVID-19 cures, they should contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or 800-482-8982.