Generally, health fraud in the USA involves the promotion and selling of drugs, devices, foods or cosmetics that have not been proven effective for their use by the appropriate regulatory agency. Miracle Cure scams are no exception. The main indicators of miracle cure scams are false hope, quick cures, promise a cure-all, or cures supposedly rejected by or brand new to the medical community.
Health miracle cure products and treatments are malicious. They take advantage of the desperate person or the person with limited options looking for reliable help. There are a variety of reasons people get duped.
Victims can be led to believe they will receive a product of comparative quality for less money. People can be led to believe the product or service will cure the condition when there isn’t a known cure. Avoid the advertisements that feature for example “shrinks tumors” or “cures impotency”. No one should try a treatment or product that is advertised or guaranteed to cure the condition when respected doctors and medicine don’t include the treatment or product as an option or advise against it when asked. Avoid any advertisements that feature the words “scientific breakthrough”, “revolutionary innovation”, “exclusive product”, “secret ingredient” or “ancient remedy”.
People lose precious life-saving time and money with these scams. Most health insurance plans won’t approve payment for unapproved treatments so you are required to pay for these yourself. Sometimes miracle cures can even be dangerous because they haven’t been evaluated and approved for quality and effectiveness with the particular medical condition and with your particular medical situation. No one knows your treatment options better than a qualified physician although it is wise to get more than one opinion with a serious condition.
Usually miracle cure scams target victims with serious conditions such as AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, HIV, multiple sclerosis or obesity. HIV can’t yet be cured but approved treatments and drugs can increase the length and quality of someone’s life. Safe and accurate HIV testing is available only through a licensed medical professional and, in the United States, also through the Home Access Express HIV-1 Test System. Any advertisement that claims to cure HIV is a scam. There can’t be one product or treatment that cures, treats or effectively controls all types of cancer. Cancer itself is diverse. Magnets and copper bracelets don’t cure arthritis.
No product or treatment can cure any serious condition within a few days or a few weeks. No product or treatment can cure a disease where the medical community doesn’t know of a cure. Avoid the advertisement with testimonies from patients and doctors that can’t be verified through the legitimate organization dealing with the condition. For example, if a product claims to help symptoms or cure cancer, contact the American Cancer Society. If you don’t know which organization concentrates on a particular condition, contact the American Medical Association.
Avoid any advertisements that feature limited supplies or limited availability and require you to pay in full in advance before knowing if you will receive the product. Always avoid advertisements with promises of no-risk or a money-back guarantee. These are most likely scams. Respected retailers offer refunds or exchanges for products and have policies that can easily be accessed by prospective customers. Respected retailers don’t make claims of no-risk or guarantee your money will be returned without returning the product when asked by a customer.
So, the basic rule to avoid online fraud still is “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in the USA or with the RCMP in Canada. For a review of how to generally recognize scams read “Scams”.
This post is part of the series: An Introduction to Online Fraud
Fraud online is now comonplace. Are you aware of everyday tricks to get you to part with your information or monies? This series highlights the temptations.