Pure Herbal Total Defense Immunity Blend
March 18th, 2020
The latest coronavirus scam to land on TINA.org’s radar, sent in by a reader yesterday, comes packaged as a fake Fox News article with the headline, “While the world is waiting for a vaccine, one mom has found a solution to fight back against the coronavirus outbreak.”
The fake site on which the fake article appears bears an uncanny resemblance to the actual conservative-leaning news site, seen below, except that every section (“U.S.,” “World,” “Opinion,” and so on) links to an order page for Pure Herbal Total Defense Immunity Blend, an essential oils blend and the mother of two’s answer to the coronavirus. Even the byline, Janine Puhak, who is an actual editor at Fox News, is the same as on an article published March 17 on the real Fox News site.
You might not be surprised to hear that the fake news article spins a web of lies, with quotes from a mother who is referred to only as “Jamie” (and who very probably does not exist), and a “researcher,” James Murdoch, who just happens to have the same name as the younger son of Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who created Fox News.
Here’s what mom has to say about Pure Herbal:
I was tired of the doctor’s office, I was tired of my kids bringing home the flu, and I was tired of depending on modern medicine to solve the problem for me. Look, I found something that works for us. I am not worried about the Coronavirus hitting our family because I have 3 ways to fight back in just 1 bottle of botanical oils. It is so potent that it kills germs on contact, it rids the air of contaminants and you can rub it into your skin to greatly boost your immune response. Even if you do catch a virus, the symptoms and time it affects you experience, are greatly reduced.
The fake Janine Puhak reports that, “We reached out to the company to ask them about their product and Jamie’s flu fighting claims. The company responded that ‘It’s a Simple Solution to a Healthy, Protected Life for you and your Family and a lot of our customers are firm believers in our product.'” But like any fake reporter worth her salt, Puhak didn’t just take the company at its word; she conducted her own research. The article continues:
The claims aren’t exactly unfounded. After doing our research one of the main oils in the blend is Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus Oil can help fight off bacteria and viruses, though it isn’t effective as an antifungal essential oil. It has been proven to be able to effectively kill 22 types of harmful bacteria, like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. It has also been proven to be effective against a number of viruses, particularly the swine flu (H1N1) and herpes type 1 (HSV1) viruses. Could it also kill the 2020 Coronavirus?
One hundred times no.
‘Risk free’ offer has its risks
While Pure Herbal won’t prevent you from getting the coronavirus (here are some protective measures from the CDC that actually help), it may empty out your bank account.
You see, in addition to false disease-treatment claims, the scam also features a “risk free” offer, which, according to terms and conditions linked at the bottom of the order page, automatically enrolls you in an “auto-shipment program” that charges $89.95 for additional products every 30 days until you call to cancel. That number, if you’re looking for it, is 1-844-899-2977.
Let’s all keep our eyes out
As unscrupulous snake oil salesmen attempt to take advantage of the current situation, TINA.org is maintaining a running list of known coronavirus scams being sold on radio, TV and across the internet. If you see others, let us know.
Find more of our coverage on coronavirus scams here.