Phony Ebola Treatments? Yes, Some Crooks Take Advantage of Any Opportunity

by TheWritingCowboy

Ebola cures don't exist but that doesn't stop crooks from trying to sell you one.

As if the Ebola Plague ripping through Western Africa and imperiling other parts of the world wasn’t bad enough, now comes word of criminals and get-rich quick artists who are trying to make a fast buck from the misery the disease is causing.
The problem has become so bad that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning advising consumers to keep a sharp eye out for so-called cures and treatments for the disease, which as of yet has no known cure and for which treatments are only in the experimental stage and samples of which are in very limited supply (some Ebola victims have been treated with an experimental vaccine in 2014 but as yet there is no documented evidence of the vaccine having actually cured anyone, even those who contracted the disease, were given the treatment and survived).

Outbreak Started in 1976

As of the summer of 2014, there have been more than 3800 reported human cases and more than 2300 deaths since Ebola was discovered in 1976. There are actually five Ebola viruses, four of which can cause problems for humans.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Ebola doesn’t yet pose a significant threat to the U.S., as in the case in most countries outside of Africa. However, unfortunately, during outbreak situations fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure a disease all too often appear on the market. The FDA monitors for these fraudulent products and false claims and takes appropriate action to protect consumers. But, that hasn’t stopped crooks from preying on a worried public.

I did a little investigating on my own and was surprised what a quick Internet search revealed. For example, Barnes and Noble is offering a book titled, “Ebola Is A Scam … But There Are Three Cures.” H-m-m-m, looks like this person is trying to have it both ways. I’m leaning toward the possibility that this is a real scam given that the price of the book is a whopping $276.99. But, it’s a reduced price from $300 – what a deal!

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Cashing In On Ebola

Not all products are scams. However, there is no shortage of folks that are trying to cash in on the international fear being generated by coverage of the disease. The number of books now on the market – more reasonably priced than the one above – is amazing. There are dozens and dozens of them.

But, the more dangerous and obviously phony items are available as well. For example, there is a product being offered at IMNatural.com called Garcinia Cabogia Powder that promises that it “fights intestinal worms, parasites and Ebola Virus.”

There are also numerous advertisements on line (for security purposes I didn’t click on any of them, but they are not hard to see if you perform a search for “Ebola cures.”) One boldly displays “Ebola Treatments” in its headline. Another promises to “find the best health answers,” including Ebola cures.

Another scam seems to be offering Ebola for sale. A sponsored link on Ebay says you can get up to 70 percent off on Ebola – and it comes with free shipping. Wow!

Then there are always entrepreneurs who will take advantage of any situation and Ebola is no exception. There are numerous T-Shirt and apparel manufacturers who have Ebola emblazoned on their products believing everyone wants to wear one of those. There are also those who believe you or I may be heading out to a country where Ebola is running rampant or heading to our neighborhood sometime soon and therefore want to sell us an “Ebola Home Safety Kit,” complete with rubber gloves, masks, warning signs and more. And all this for just $19.95 (reduced from the original $34.95). Yes, I’m sure at that price we can be sure this product is top-notch, right? How about some Ebola earrings? These are for sale as well. The earrings show the microbial Ebola virus squiggling along and it’ll only cost you $15.50.

In this day and age we aren’t often surprised to the lengths and depths some people will go in order to play on people’s fears and to separate them from their hard earned incomes. And the number of people who will succumb to these pitches is also not surprising. As the saying goes, buyer beware.

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Updated: 08/28/2014, TheWritingCowboy
 
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Telesto on 09/02/2014

Hmm, my understanding us that, Ebola, along with the majority of other viruses, is best prevented by good hygiene. It's clearly quite virulent so that alone won't stop you getting it, but it's the best prevention that there is at the moment.

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