North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice
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Warmer weather could bring out Zika scams

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring is here and the bugs can’t be far behind. With warmer weather may come scams that seek to play on people’s fears of insect borne illnesses such as the Zika virus, which has been spread by mosquitos in Central and South America.

Scammers and others who engage in questionable business practices will often use health fears to try to drum up more business, as we saw during the H1N1 flu outbreak several years ago. Our office has already received one complaint about potentially misleading advertising for mosquito spraying that mentions the Zika virus. Ads for other products that claim to prevent or cure the illness are likely.

To protect yourself from health related scams:

  • Be skeptical. Many health products don’t back up their claims with factual proof. Remember that testimonials about a product may be exaggerated or false.
  • Check with your health care provider before you try any new product or equipment to treat an illness.
  • If you decide to try a product, pay with a credit card. This will improve your chances of being able to get a refund if you aren’t satisfied with it or if the seller goes out of business without delivering your order.
  • Report Zika scams to our Consumer Protection Division by filing a complaint at or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within NC.