Swine flu scams

By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: January 27th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The advertisements are all over the Internet, trumpeting products that claim to stop swine flu in its tracks. But in fact, the only true guarantee these phony products provide is the promise to lighten your wallet.

Fear of the swine flu has put everyone on high alert. But the Food and Drug Administration and local law enforcement agencies are warning people to avoid products advertised on the Internet that promise protection against the disease.

Marketers are capitalizing on public fear to tout items such as teas, shampoos and sprays that claim to protect against the H1N1 virus. In fact, the scams have become so prevalent, the FDA has posted a list of the phony products on its web site, www.fda.gov. Officials have already warned the administrators of seventy-five web sites to cease and desist or face criminal prosecution.

One of the most common scams is generic Tamiflu, one of the only medicines known to fight swine flu. One such site was offering a bottle of the drug for eight-nine dollars. In fact, generic Tamiflu is currently unavailable and won’t be sold until the year twenty-sixteen.

One of the more brazen scams is for a device known as a Photon Genie, which was priced at three-thousand dollars and promised to guard against H1N1. The FDA sent a warning letter to the manufacturer and the company quickly rescinded its claim.

Don’t fall for the scams. The best way to guard against the swine flu is still to continue washing your hands, avoid the sick and get a vaccine.