The Better Business Bureau Joins Law Enforcement Agencies in Taking the Bite Out of Zika Scammers

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

How to protect themselves from mosquito bites and possible infection of the Zika virus is a real fear among consumers and not just pregnant women alone. The Better Business Bureau is joining other agencies in warning consumers to also guard themselves against worthless Zika products and scams. Several, State Attorney’s General around the country have issued alerts regarding several scams. One of the concerns is with businesses that are promoting products that claim to protect against Zika. Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois states, “These products are being marketed as being “Zika protective” or “Zika preventative”, the problem is they don’t work.” And then, there are the scammers who are pushing phony investment opportunities, and sending malicious spam email.

Investment Scams

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also issued a warning to investors to be on the lookout for companies that claim to be developing products or services relating to the Zika virus. Such scams might include “pump-and-dump” schemes, in which con artists pump up a stock price with false rumors and then dump their shares before the stock drops again.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Email Scams

According to a report from Symantec malicious spam email originally originating in Brazil claims to come from health and wellness sites with a message purporting to have information about fighting the virus. Now that the virus has been identified in several states in the U.S. scammers are expected to begin trying similar tactics here.

Zika Prevention

Experts advise there are a number of reputable insect repellents that can provide protection, including those that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists several brand names on its website. Additionally, individuals are advised to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and use insect repellent. Window and door screens, and staying in places with air conditioning, are advised as well. Home and business owners should be vigilant about getting rid of standing water — in flower pots, buckets, and old tires, for example — where mosquitoes might lay eggs. For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at

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