When any major health concern gets a lot of media attention, it also draws scams that have been deliberately created by con artists to take advantage of public fear.
Swine flu scams are starting to be seen in high numbers, especially on the Internet. Fake “pharmacies” are springing up to bridge an expected gap between supply and demand, selling fake vaccinations to the public.
Public health agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization are partnering with the pharmaceutical industry to deal with an expected flood of fake and substandard drugs.
The FDA has already released a list of websites that the agency said had fraudulently advertised products as capable of diagnosing, preventing or curing swine flu. The products included such items as a shampoo that allegedly could ward off the virus and a dietary supplement that claimed to fight off the swine flu within 8 hours.
A good way to avoid scams is to remember that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. If you want more information about the swine flu, look for reputable online news media and health information resources or talk to your doctor. If you purchase products to help with a flu outbreak, make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate business.
The last thing we need when we’re sick is to also be hit in the wallet buying something that does absolutely nothing except take our money.
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