As the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to increase, one Florida State University researcher said the number of people looking to profit from the misfortune by offering false, unproven cures is also on the rise.
There is no known cure for COVID-19 but Chad Marzen, associate professor of law in the FSU College of Business, said that hasn’t stopped opportunists from looking to capitalize off people’s fears.
Marzen and Assistant Professor Michael Conklin of Angelo State University recently published “Coronavirus, ‘Cures’ and the Courts” in the William & Mary Business Law Review. The article details the proliferation of profiteering from false cures and offers a possible solution, in the form of stiffer prison sentences and increased fines.
Among the products for sale are purported cures, bogus tests and treatments. Marzen said the damage caused by peddling these phony products is borne by those who are duped and society at large.
“The financial loss could be significant and false tests could cause people to mistakenly believe they don’t have COVID-19 and unknowingly spread it to others,” he said. “But the even greater fear is someone believing they’ve been cured and not seeking medical care, which could be costly to their health or conceivably lead to death.”
While monitoring the spike in bogus cures, tests and treatments, Marzen hopes the government will respond by adopting stiffer penalties for fraudsters.
Marzen is available to offer his expertise to inquiring media as to the current landscape of fraudulent COVID-19 enterprises and to possible legal remedies.
Contact Marzen at firstname.lastname@example.org.