Quack or Cure: How to Tell If a Product is a Scam

Cured of Lupus in 24 Hours! Miracle Breakthrough Arthritis Cr�¨me! Secret Proven Cure for Stiff Joints! You see them every day in your direct mail, your television, flooding your email, even in the back of reputable magazines. You may have heard your favorite neighbor raving about this new pearl cr�¨me, or some scared member of your online support group asking if she should invest $300 for an ounce of arthritis gel. They prey on you, giving you false hope. What do you do? How can you distinguish between hope and hype? Here are some tips on spotting the imitation from the real thing:

1) Be wary of any ad that promises Exclusive, Proven, Miracle, Overnight, or Cure. Nothing is instant.
2) Read the testimonials. Do they sound like an infomercial? Real people write real testimonials, not ads.
3) Be very wary of anything that promises no side effects. Everything has a side effect in someone.
4) Never buy into the “limited time offer”. If it were real and honest, they’d want to sell it forever.
5) Watch where it’s made. Many times it will be imported from Mexico or China. Drugs should be made and monitored here in the US.
6) Look for clinical trials. New medicine always has a clinical trial.
7) Watch for a claim that along with curing your Arthritis it also makes perfect French fries and a wax for your car! Many scams will have it working on far too wide a spectrum of ailments. The hype won’t ring true if you’re listening.
8)If they want advance payment of a years supply, or if it comes monthly and is automatically billed to your credit card, this is a big red flag. Medicine and treatments should be on your timeframe, not the makers.

If you still can’t tell whether the bracelet that promises to make you feel twenty years old again is a fraud, check them out with the following agencies that are designed to keep track of the shams.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Information Service (CIS)
Phone: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)

National Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NIAMS)
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 1-877-22-NIAMS

Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)
4200 Wilson Boulevard
8th Floor
Arlington, VA 22203

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Room 421
6th Street and Pennsylvaniav Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Phone: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357-toll-free)
TTY: 1-800-326-2996

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857-0001
Phone: 1-888-INFO-FDA

U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPS)
Office of Investigation
Washington, DC 20206-2166

Quackwatch, Inc

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