Bird Flu scams that take advantage of your fears regarding the H5N1 virus could put you at risk by creating the illusion of safety
The impending bird flu pandemic has been reported steadily in the media for many months. It’s a good story albeit a frightening one with the potential, should a pandemic actually occur, to take many loved ones from us and disrupt economies on a global scale to the point where basic civil services break down so badly that New Orleans looks like a picnic.
I don’t want to anyone to think that a pandemic isn’t a serious matter because, should the worst case scenario come to pass, we’ll be in a world of hurt. All the same, people need to understand that the media loves to sensationalize anything and everything to attract readers and viewers. Fear is good for business and it’s hard to blame anyone for wanting business to be good but unfortunately the media-fed fear creates opportunities for the scam artists that live among us.
Bird flu scams exploit the fear generated by the media
These Scammers will exploit that fear in order to line their pockets with your money. I’m not going to try and get you to stop worry about the bird flu but I am going to take a minute here to expose some of these bird flu scams in the hopes that some of you won’t waste your money and won’t risk your health. Con artists couldn’t care less about your welfare or your health but they will stoop to new lows with the bird flu. They are quite eager to risk the health of you and your family with the promise of bird flu vaccines and cures. Our best word of advice is to never purchase medicines through the mail or over the internet without a trusted doctor’s prescription.
Use reliable sources to obtain medicine
The key word here is trusted because it’s not that hard to get a prescription nowadays but some medicines that you might be able to obtain legally could harm you simply because you think you are no longer at risk when the reality is that there are only two drugs effective against the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus and one of these is Tamiflu.
That doesn’t mean you need to worry because right now avaian flu can only be contracted directly from birds. The chief worry in the scientific community is that the bird flu could mutate into something that can be passed from person to person. So while it’s quite deadly your chances of contracting it are slim if it stays in its present form. If you want to worry about the bird flu right now you should focus on some of the bird flu cure scams out there.
- Counterfeit Tamiflu – Don’t get fooled into thinking there’s a generic version of Tamiflu because there isn’t one yet. Some companies around the world have websites selling a generic version of Tamiflu over the internet which they claim is effective against bird flu. Tamiflu is manufactured by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche and if you order Tamiflu you should make certain that Roche produced it. Your best bet is to obtain pharmaceuticals from trusted sources and not websites hosted overseas unless you are certain of their reputation. Roche asks people not to by Tamiflu over the internet at all and to make sure that whatever source they use is reliable. While Tamiflu won’t hurt if you have purchased a counterfeit version you could have a false sense of security.
- Face Masks – Face masks are being sold over the internet as protection against avian flu. Some even claim that the masks kill the bird flu. While wearing a mask may or may not protect you the reality may be that at least it won’t hurt you which is a long way from offering any sort of protection.
- Bird Flu Stock Scams – The threat of bird flu is fueling stock scams touting large gains from companies that claim to be poised to capitalize on helping the world avoid a global pandemic. NASD is issuing this Alert to warn investors that fax and email investment scams may come your way trumpeting the promise of large gains for companies with products and services aimed at fighting bird flu.
One fax claimed its company “has the solution for tracking and containing the Bird Flu virus in turn preventing it from spreading.” Citing the enormous cost of fighting avian flu, the fax stated the stock was “positioned to gain 250% or more.” The fax went on to urge investors not to miss out on a stock that was “clearly missed by Wall Street.”
- Wash your hands and don’t rub your eyes – This isn’t a scam. Washing your hands is just a free way that you can minimize your chances of becoming infected by the bird flu. Keeping your hands away from your eyes can improve your odds further still.