The Texas Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission sent a letter to a medical spa in Arlington warning them against making claims they can cure or prevent COVID-19, claims the spa said they didn't make.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the FTC sent a letter to Resurgence Medical Spa in Arlington, addressed to manager Christopher Chappell, on April 3, warning them against making unsubstantiated claims that infusions of their Vitamin C Immune Booster IV product could "prevent, reduce symptoms and treat COVID-19."
The attorney general's office said the business was marketing the infusions online, on Facebook and Instagram, at a cost of $99 per treatment.
"As communities work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that those suffering receive the potentially life-saving treatment they need, my office is working diligently to stop deceptive claims and false cures,” said Paxton in a statement. “I will not allow anyone or any business to take advantage of Texans during this national health crisis.”
Paxton's office posted about the warning letter on his Facebook page. A representative for the spa replied to the post (in italics below) saying they were not trying to scam anyone, that they never claimed to prevent or cure the disease but only that the infusions may help or prevent the disease. The representative then apologized for any confusion the posts may have caused.
"We were in no way trying to harm or scam anyone in regards to our advertising regarding IV vitamin infusions and COVID 19. Our primary concern has always been and remains to be the health and wellness of our community. Any sort of references we used related to COVID 19 and our IV infusions were focused on overall immune boosting and/or reports we were seeing from the mainstream media as to the positive effects High Dose Vitamin C was having on COVID 19 patients. As further explanation, we never claimed to prevent or cure COVID 19, we were very careful to use wording like "may/could/can help" or "may/could/can prevent. Once we were contacted by the FTC, we immediately removed all references to COVID 19. We apologize for any sort of confusion our social media posts may have caused."
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The attorney general's letter (embedded below) warned that violators of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices - Consumer Protection Act could incur fines of up to $10,000 and may also include legal fees and restitution. If the victim is age 65 or older, that fine could jump to $250,000.
Paxton's office added that under Texas consumer protection statutes it is illegal for a person to take advantage of a disaster declaration, which the state is currently under, by engaging in deceptive trade practices.
Texans who believe they have encountered deceptive trade practices should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online. For additional information on disaster scams, please visit the state's disaster scams website.