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Another wave of COVID-19 cure scams targeting victims

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Posted at 7:38 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 22:14:46-04

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on – impacting jobs and the ability to pay bills – some scammers are looking for ways to get their hands on your cash quick!

In recent cases, their plans to get rich quick count on you falling for claims they have uncovered a cure for the coronavirus.

“Whether there’s a natural disaster, whether we're in this terrible pandemic, it brings out the best in people, but it sometimes brings out the worst in people,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich about scams surfacing here in Arizona at the start of the pandemic.

However, virus cure claims seem to be everywhere, like the one at the center of a new lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

Court Documents show Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical, Inc., a California-based company, advertised a treatment plan of more than 10 herbal mixtures saying it had been scientifically proven and was approved by the FDA. The plan would potentially cost patients thousands of dollars but promised they could be cured in two to four days.

While hundreds of trials are ongoing around the world, to this day, there are no FDA-approved treatments except for two approved for emergency hospital settings.

While the claims in the lawsuit were directly linked to COVID-19, other unproven promises may not be as clear cut.

For example, a Valley med spa advertised a “cutting edge IV therapy,” while mentioning COVID-19 in the same paragraph.

We looked into the drug they were advertising, Artemisinin. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say it could do more harm than good. They say it can suppress your immune system, making you more likely to get sick.

It’s a reminder that, while the future of the virus remains unclear, scammers are still hard at work trying to get their hands on your money.

“It’s important in times of crisis, that we all work together on the federal, state, and local level to make sure that we're protecting people. We're achieving justice,” said Brnovich.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Arizona Attorney General's Office has created a task force with the FBI, Department of Justice, as well as other agencies, focused on stopping COVID-19 scams.

They say despite seeing a slowdown of scams in June, they are once again on the rise.

If you come across any questionable claims, let us know at Rebound@abc15.com

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