Flu Scams and Frauds: GermBullet & Fraudulent Flu Vaccine Alternatives


One man’s health condition is another man’s business opportunity. There may be nothing wrong with that in this age of privatized and commercialized health care. But when the “business opportunity” turns out to be a fraudulent scam to steal money from the sick or those worried about their health, government should step in and send the fraudsters and scammers to prison or to a special place in hell where they burn and freeze at the same time.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not (to our knowledge anyway) banished a fraudster to hell but it is, at least, warning consumers about unscrupulous people and companies who are trying to make a billion bucks this flu season by scamming those who are worried about catching the flu virus.

One company you should be wary of is the Flu and Cold Defense LLC which marketed a flu inhaler called GermBullet with claims that go:

  • “[GermBullet] has been laboratory tested and shown to reduce illness-causing bacteria, cold and flu viruses and fungi.”
  • “[GermBullet] gives your body defenses a higher probability of effectively combating germs, so that you remain healthy.”
  • “Nova Southeastern University laboratory testing confirmed that GermBullet® inhalation blend has a broad spectrum potential capability to kill illness-causing bacteria, mold, and fungi.”
  • “I use GermBullet whenever I feel that I am coming down with something or having a stuffy nose. So far, it has been working for me.”
  • “I am an airline pilot and I was getting sick all the time, at least once every few weeks. Once I started using GermBullet I’m not getting sick anymore.”
  • “It is truly amazing. I wouldn’t be without it! Especially during this cold and Flu season!”
  • “I love GermBullet; amazing product and REALLY WORKS! I have major allergies and this has made a huge difference. In addition, I have a low immune system, so when my folks get sick, I normally do too. BUT this time, when I used GermBullet, I didn’t get sick when they did. This stuff is amazing.”
  • “Inhale before, during or after exposure to airborne germs or when you first suspect a cold.”

Since Flu and Cold Defense is marketing GermBullet as a cure for flu, the FDA smacked it down for selling a new drug without the approval of the agency?

Why did the “good people” behind GermBullet did not get the FDA’s approval before they starting marketing their product? Maybe because they know it won’t pass the “is it really effective” test? Your guess is as good as mine.

By the way, the GermBullet people also had the balls to make this claim about their product:

An FDA recognized virology lab independently tested GermBullet® inhalation blend and confirmed that it has the potential capability to kill cold and flu viruses.

Problem is, as the FDA warning to the company stated, the agency “has not “recognized” any virology lab that has independently tested your product. Thus, your product is misbranded.”

Anyhoo, the agency is warning all of us to beware of fraud flu products. From the agency’s media release:

As the flu continues to make people sick—and even cause deaths—scammers are alive and well, promoting their fraudulent products to the unsuspecting public.

These scammers sell their products with claims to prevent, treat or cure the flu, even though they have not been tested and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them.

FDA warns consumers to steer clear of fraudulent flu products, which can be found online and in retail stores and may include products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods, drugs, nasal sprays and devices.

“As any health threat emerges, fraudulent products appear almost overnight,” says Gary Coody, R.Ph., FDA’s national health fraud coordinator. “Right now, so-called ‘alternatives’ to the flu vaccine are big with scammers.”

“These unproven products give consumers a false sense of security,” says Mary Malarkey, director of FDA’s Office of Compliance and Biologics Quality. “There is no need to buy a product that claims to be an alternative to the vaccine. Flu vaccine is still available and it’s not too late to get vaccinated.”

Have you experienced being scammed by these unscrupulous individuals and companies? What did you do (or plan to do) about it?