Attorney General Mark Brnovich advises consumers to exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before using or purchasing any product claiming to treat, test, or cure COVID-19. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has seen an uptick in complaints about unreliable tests or treatment due to the current health crisis. The AGO is taking action against businesses peddling fake coronavirus cures or treatments. In Arizona, the Attorney General’s Office has sent cease and desist letters to businesses selling “immunity tablets” and immunization treatments.
With over 200 different possible treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 currently being studied around the world, scammers will continue to rely on the uncertainty surrounding how to treat COVID-19 to sell fake treatments and cures, many times online. Con artists often falsely tout government approval, which is why consumers should take extra care to verify information regarding potential COVID-19 tests and treatments. Always double check claims about medications or vaccines by using the Food and Drug Administration’s website. The FDA regularly publishes information about progress on COVID-19 medications and coronavirus-related actions that it has taken. As research progresses, legitimate medications and vaccines will appear on the FDA’s website with accurate and reliable information.
Consumers also should investigate antibody tests before paying for them or relying on the results. Some studies have indicated that many of the available tests may produce “false positives,” reporting the presence of antibodies where none exist. The FDA recently announced that all antibody test manufacturers must submit validation data proving their tests’ effectiveness by Monday, May 18. At that point, consumers should be able to get a better understanding of which tests are the most reliable.
The AGO has a COVID-19 webpage dedicated to providing consumers with the latest information on coronavirus scams and frauds.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.
CVS recently announced that they are opening 10 drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites across Arizona. Fry’s Food Stores has partnered with The Little Clinic and the City of Tempe to provide free COVID-19 testing at Tempe Diablo Stadium this weekend. The State of Arizona’s third and final ‘testing blitz’ is also set for this weekend at approximately 70 testing sites across 11 counties.
For a list of test locations and registration information, visit azhealth.gov/testingblitz. While most sites require pre-registration, many others are first-come, first-served.