June 10, 2016

Office of Consumer Protection Advise Residents to Lookout for Zika Scams

The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) offers tips to raise awareness about scammers who may try to prey on people’s fears of insect borne illnesses such as the Zika virus. Those who engage in questionable business practices will often use health fears to try to drum up more business.
  • Mosquito Spraying Contractors: Verify that they are licensed with the State of Maryland before entering into a contract. Be wary of companies who lowball an introductory price and then come back for subsequent sprays at higher prices.
  • Refer to the CDC prevention guide on how to best repel mosquitos or review the information provided by the County on protecting yourself from mosquito bites.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is warning of an increase in investment scams as companies claim to develop products or services relating to the Zika virus. 
  • Symantec, a cyber security company, is warning consumers to be aware of malware and Trojan horses buried in online and emailed informational guides on Zika virus prevention.
  • Don’t buy potions, lotions, or other supplements promising to protect you against Zika. Testimonials about a product may be exaggerated or false. If you decide to try a product or treatment, contact your physician first and pay with a credit card as it may improve your chances of being able to get a refund. 
Zika scams can be reported by filing a complaint with the OCP or calling 240-777-3636.

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