Hey so remember how the CDC said a while back that Zika probably isn’t that big of a deal? Yeah, maybe not so much. Cases are still fairly rare and harmless for most people who come down with it, but a connection to Guillain-Barré Syndrome — which absolutely blows just FYI — and birth defects for babies of pregnant mothers who contract it remains. So, you’ve been warned and whatnot.
Now the Better Business Bureau is warning of a whole new kind of scam, which we’re sharing with the qualifier that we have yet to see such a thing on GoFundMe. Not saying it doesn’t exist, just saying we haven’t seen it.
“The first thing we’ve seen is repellents. We’ve seen wristbands, we’ve seen stickers, we’ve seen ultrasonic devices. They’re supposed to repel mosquitoes but the experts say they don’t work,” says Dick Eppstein, BBB.
The Better Business Bureau says in some cases the ultrasonic devices can actually attract mosquitoes. Also, stay away from all natural products. They do not work nearly as well as products with DEET.
Watch out for businesses claiming to do mosquito spraying or Zika investment scams, usually found on Facebook or GoFundMe pages. They are out to make a quick buck, simply don’t work or the businesses are ill-equipped, unlicensed people who do not know what they are doing.
Admittedly, this made us curious. The only Zika GoFundMe campaign we’re aware of is the one from the young Connecticut mom who wanted the Internet to pay for her baby, who may or may not have a single birth defect. That campaign is still live, but no update has been posted.
A quick search for “Zika” on GoFundMe leads us to a few innocuous-appearing campaigns; Costa Rican trips to battle mosquitoes, a woman who says doctors refuse to test her due to the fact that she isn’t pregnant, humanitarian missions to distribute mosquito repellent to low-income communities. Nothing particularly scammy-er than anything else we might see on GoFundMe for any given search term.
We did find one dude in Alabama who wants $400 to get his “bat box” business off the ground. Bats can eat 1000 mosquitoes an hour, making them an effective defense against those nasty little blood-sucking, Zika-carrying bastards. Again, seems well-intentioned at least, and certainly not totally useless like “ultrasonic” anti-mosquito vibrators or whatever.
Anyway, thought we’d share it with you anyway. Beware and all that. Of course, you guys already know this.