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FTC Offers To Assist Businesses Seeking Guidance

ftc march27 lt

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is ready to assist businesses, which need guidance about compliance obligations on consumer protection issues during this challenging time, according to a statement from FTC Chairman Joe Simons.

Simons noted that the FTC will remain flexible and reasonable in enforcing compliance requirements on companies that may hinder the provision of important goods and services to consumers as the pandemic is putting enormous strain on all sectors of commerce.

However, the FTC said it will not tolerate companies deceiving consumers, or taking unfair advantage of the situation.

The FTC is also trying to tackle scammers and unfair and deceptive business practices amid concerns and fears surrounding the coronavirus, exigent circumstances, or related financial distress.

The agency advised consumers to hang up on robocalls as not to press any numbers as scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes.

Scammers are also trying to get consumers to buy products such as vaccinations and home test kits that are not proven to treat or prevent the coronavirus online or in stores. There are currently no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus.

Further, the FTC warned consumers not to respond to texts and emails about checks from the government as it can be a scammer at work.

Earlier in the month, the FTC and FDA had jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, making unsupported claims that the products can treat or prevent coronavirus. The companies' products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.

The FDA said there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

Coronavirus that struck first in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in People's Republic of China, is fast spreading across the globe. As of this writing, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has exceeded 550,000, with more than 24,000 deaths reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has over 85,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, surpassing that of China, and the death toll is 1,280, according to Johns Hopkins University. New York is the worst-hit state in the U.S.

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