31 January 2011

How to avoid health scams

A sucker for fake health product scams is borne every day. Don’t be one of them!

Snake oil salesmen are everywhere and when it comes to flogging supposedly healthy products that promise amazing results, but which in actual fact have no beneficial effects whatsoever, all of us would be well-advised not to believe everything we are told.

From detox foot pads which are supposed to leach undesirable chemicals from your body via the soles of your feet to herbal cancer treatments, miracle hair loss cures, anti-aging pills and weight-loss scams of a bewildering variety, an army of quacks are constantly trying to convince you to buy their lotions, gadgets and creams. And don’t get us started on internet-peddled “male enhancement” products!

  • it claims to be an easy, quick and effective cure-all for all manner of often unrelated ailments;
  • it’s advertised using phrases like “secret ingredients”, “revolutionary innovation”, instant results”, “ancient remedy”, “alternative medicine” and “scientific breakthrough”;
  • it makes unsubstantiated claims of amazing results without credible scientific proof or evidence;
  • it’s sold through the internet, mail order or television infomercials;
  • it claims to be a remedy for chronic diseases for which no conventional cures exist as yet;
  • it makes claims that go against the understanding of modern science and medicine or even just common sense.



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