Oklahoma BBB Warns Of Ebola Scams

Tuesday, October 21st 2014, 10:47 pm
By: News 9

Health officials reassured there are no cases of Ebola in Oklahoma.

But even if there were, 'Ebola prevention' products would be useless.

"I'd like to say I'm shocked. But I'm not," said Kitt Letcher, President, CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

"It would be pointless for them to have that," said EMSA Regional Response System Director Michael Murphy.

EMSA and the Better Business Bureau have taken a stand against what are considered Ebola scams.

Advertisements are sprinkled across websites like Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist offering Ebola preparedness kits.

They are equipped with gloves, masks and a hazardous waste bucket assuring the consumer 'You can be safe.'

The sale price was listed at $100.

"It would be donating $100 to somebody to someone for stuff you would only use to paint your house," said Murphy.

Regional Response System Director Michael Murphy even pointed out the Center for Disease control has advised health care workers not to use goggles, let alone the ones offered in this kit.

"It's just somebody who's trying to take advantage of the current environment as we see usually in these situations," said Murphy.

The BBB's Kitt Letcher agreed.

"They're just looking for ways to take advantage of the situation," said Letcher.

So News 9 responded to one particular local Craigslist ad to see if the salesman only saw an opportunity.

"Money, money, money, it's what makes the world go around," said the man selling the kit on Craigslist.

And the question of ethics?

"What's unethical about sending someone a product,” said the kit owner, "Walmart's not a doctor and you can go to any supermarket and buy this crap."

"This is absolutely not necessary. Now or in the foreseeable future at all," said Murphy.

10/21/2014 Related Story: President Of OK Medical Research Foundation Answers Ebola Questions

The BBB also warned of other Ebola scams on sites like GoFundMe.com where users are looking to raise money to fight the virus.

"If you're going to contribute to an individual on a website like that, it needs to be someone you personally know," said Letcher.

Both EMSA and the BBB recommended if you really want to spend money, donate to credible organizations.