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PayPal fights fake COVID-19 ‘immunity tablets’

PayPal has been forced to take action against online businesses that are fraudulently promoting at-home COVID-19 test kits and immunity tablets amid an increase in fake health claims being peddled on the web.

In a submission to the government’s inquiry into financial and regulatory technology, the $US136 billion ($209 billion) payments giant said it had increased cooperation with local law authorities to help track and weed out claims of fake virus cures and self-tests.

PayPal's Australian arm said it was working with regulators to weed out unscrupulous health claims in the wake of the pandemic.

PayPal’s Australian arm said it was working with regulators to weed out unscrupulous health claims in the wake of the pandemic. Credit:Gabby Jones, Bloomberg.

“We have taken actions against websites in Australia which fraudulently claim to offer at home test kits and immunity tablets for COVID-19, including putting restrictions on accounts and if needed, collaborating with law enforcement on investigations,” the company said.

PayPal warned Australian customers to ignore virus-related promotions that create a false sense of urgency, for example demanding an order be placed by a certain deadline because of limited availability of a virus treatment.

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