As a COVID-19 vaccine looms, Uncle Sam wants to make sure you don't throw your money away on a bogus miracle cure -- and, as it turns out, there's a lot already out there.
It's inevitable ... criminals will peddle fake vaccines online and elsewhere. When money can be made and people are desperate, the combination is perfect for crooks.
The Food and Drug Administration has gotten ahead of snake oil salesmen who've been trying to peddle fake coronavirus-related products in recent months -- even going so far as to throw images of these junk items onto Flickr, so you can see them up close.
The FDA also says it's already issued warning letters to the vendors associated with these fraudulent medicines while keeping a watchful eye out for more, adding ... "The FDA is exercising its authority to protect consumers from firms selling unapproved products and making false or misleading claims, including, by pursuing warning letters, seizures, injunctions or criminal prosecutions against products and firms or individuals that violate the law."
As for the items themselves, boy some are ridiculous ... corn and cheese, making ya wonder how anyone could be so stupid as to buy them. Thing is ... people do.
Here's a brief list of some of the goofiest ones that caught our eye, and which the FDA flagged as phony.
-- Virus Bioshield, from a firm called "Rats Army." It's an oil-like substance, with claims it's full of vitamins, antioxidants and helpful minerals, and which "Exhibits antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties," "Suppresses tumor growth," "Increases vaccine effectiveness," "Protects against oxidative damage," among other things.
-- Biomagnetism Magnetic Therapy DIY Kits: FDA says this is a fraudulent product claiming to be able to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure COVID-19. Not so!!!
-- StayWell Copper: Literally a little metal sheet that the FDA says is also claiming to be able to rid oneself of the 'rona, but they busted these guys back in May.
-- COVID-19 Cough Syrup: This one might be the silliest of all. It's a honey bear bottle emptied out and filled with some dark liquid gunk, with a crappy label slapped on the cap that reads, "COVID-19." If we must say it ... DO. NOT. BUY. THIS.
Feel free to click through and see the rest of the too-good-to-be-true "cures" the FDA wants you to be wary of (there's a lot). And, like they suggest, take caution as we get into the vaccine phase of the 'rona. If it isn't FDA-approved, it ain't legit.