PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Arizona's attorney general has ordered a Chandler company to stop advertising what it's calling "Instant Immunity Tablets," that allegedly fight COVID-19.
The tablets were being promoted in conjunction with "Multiple CoronaVirus (COVID-19) & Gas Masks N95, N100, P95, P100." The AG's letter states that advertising the "Instant Immunity Tablets" in this way implies the product would assist in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, according to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any product for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus. "In the absence of sufficient scientific evidence, an advertisement suggesting that a product could provide instant immunity from COVID-19 creates a misrepresentation and a false promise of a medical preventative or cure," states the AG's office.
"Exploiting consumers' fears by selling a fake cure or treatment for a pandemic is morally and legally wrong," said Brnovich. "This should serve as a warning to other businesses -- if you deceive the public, especially during a health crisis like this, we will hold you accountable."
Since the AG notified Prepper's Discount, Inc., of the cease-and-desist order last Friday, a disclaimer has been added to the company's webpage. [You can read the cease-and-desist letter HERE.]
The AG maintains an up-to-date COVID-19 webpage dedicated to providing consumers with the latest information on coronavirus-related scams and frauds.
"The AGO will not tolerate attempts by businesses to prey on the fears of Arizonans during this public health crisis by using misrepresentations to sell or advertise product," reads Brnovich's letter.
"In this time of crisis, we shouldn't have these kinds of people peddling 'snake oil' or miracle cure, especially when there is so much uncertainty in this country," Brnovich told 3 On Your Side.
According to Brnovich, YiLo has been advertising products that claim to treat or cure the coronavirus. To make such a claim, he says, is simply wrong and misleading. "We allege that what they're doing is essentially promising a cure for the coronavirus when it was all nonsense," he said. Brnovich tells 3 On Your Side that YiLo was sending out text messages and publishing on their website saying COVID-19 cautions continue and that YiLo has a CoronaV Immunization Stabilizer available for sale. But there is no FDA-approved vaccine that exists.
As a result, Brnovich and his office issued a cease-and-desist letter to YiLo, saying the company was violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and ordered the company to stop. "You know this, Gary, with all the stories that you've run that in times of crisis that there will always be a small group of degenerates that will try to take advantage of people and sell them something that isn't true," said Brnovich. 3 On Your Side contacted YiLO, but a manager told us he was unable to speak about the issue.
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 1-800-352-8431.