The coronavirus cases around the world recently crossed 25 million. Meanwhile, the coronavirus scams like fake treatments of the infection are also flooding everywhere. Most people are using social media platforms to promote their fake products.
A recent study monitored these activities on social media websites. Several companies are selling fake testing kits for Covid-19. Also, there are many suppliers of fake medication and the cure of the infection.
This study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Public Health and Surveillance.
The coronavirus pandemic also took a toll on the economy. Therefore, several fraud economic packages and financial programs are advertised everywhere on the internet. Many people are promoting fraudulent schemes to allegedly help people with their finances during a pandemic.
Many people fell prey to these scams and fake health products during the pandemic. The prominent social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter are flooded with such scamming posts.
The senior author of this study is Timothy Mackey. He is an associate professor at the University of California in San Diego. He said that they found nearly 2,000 coronavirus scam posts on social media. These posts are linked to fake products and financial fraud.
These fake cures appeared more frequently twice during the pandemic. However, Mackey said that these posts will become even more popular once the coronavirus vaccine becomes available. He also said that the criminals are taking advantage of a pandemic. They are using this digital platform to post their fake health care products.
Mackey also gave some useful tips to identify any coronavirus scams. He said that sometimes the advertised product is way too good for the price. They usually sell such products at a very cheap rate. Also, people use fake claims including approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
He also said that the coronavirus testing kits should not be imported from a foreign country. This is most probably illegal and the product is a scam. He also mentioned staying away from companies that sell their product through a messaging app like WhatsApp.
Mackey advised the public to report any coronavirus scams to the local authorities. Also, people should consult health care professionals for coronavirus test. They also need to talk to their local health care providers for any treatment related to coronavirus.
This study was conducted to make people aware of the coronavirus scams actively present on the internet. Mackey said that this study can help social media apps users about any scams and fraud posts.
Social media is now widely accessible at this age. People from all sorts of companies and backgrounds can promote their products. This also provides a platform for several fraudulent postings. People take advantage of the audience on social media to promote the fake product.
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between a scam and a legitimate product. However, it is easy to spot coronavirus scams. Since there is no vaccine or treatment of Covid-19 available yet, it is easier for people to spot any scams. This includes any claims of coronavirus treatment products, financial plans, or cheap coronavirus tests.