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Ebola drug scams target worried consumers

There is no cure for the Ebola virus -- but that isn't stopping some unscrupulous online marketers from trying to sell you one.

"Any time there's a new health scare, we often see companies pop up online that try to take advantage of consumers," Serena Viswanathan of the Federal Trade Commission tells CBS News. The FTC is cracking down several websites that claim their products can combat the deadly Ebola virus.

One of those companies, the FTC alleges, is called the Natural Solutions Foundation, which promotes a supplement called nano silver for the cure and prevention of viruses including Ebola.

The problem is, "There are no FDA approved vaccines or products that you can buy online that would cure, prevent or treat Ebola," Viswanathan said. While several experimental drugs are in the development pipeline, none has been proven yet to work in humans and they are not available for sale online or anywhere else.

The government sent the Natural Solutions Foundation a warning letter telling them the medical claims violate federal drug marketing laws. Though the company says it disagrees, it did say it will comply and change the wording on its website and video infomercial.

The FTC says it will continue to go after companies that make false promises of treatments or cures to a worried public. Officials say anyone who disregards the warning and continues to make unfounded health claims could face fines and criminal charges.

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