Scam Alert: Diabetes “Cure” Emails Make Outlandish Claims
Quack Cure Marketing Uses Phony Endorsements
Connecticut Better Business Bureau warns that a recent email offering a new “miracle product” that can cure diabetes, delivers only empty promises.
How the Scam Works:
You receive an email alerting you to an amazing new medicine that will "reverse" your diabetes. To establish credibility, the messages often use the names of established organizations. One recent email falsely claims a study of the product was released by NASA and endorsed by both Harvard and Johns Hopkins University. Although the name-dropping seems impressive, none of those instituons endorsed the product.
At the end of the email, a link leads you to a website that touts the product's amazing abilities and details a conspiracy theory that has kept this "cure" a secret. Consumers who go for the bait may end up with expensive dietary supplements, and leave themselves vulnerable to fraud if they hand over credit card and personal information.
Another more serious danger is that patients with diabetes may delay or abandon their approved medical treatment in favor of a product that does nothing to treat or cure any disease.
The Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) says it has taken numerous actions against the sale of fake diabetes products that were marketed with claims such as:
- “drop your blood sugar 50 points in 30 days”
- “eliminate insulin resistance”
- “prevent the development of type 2 diabetes”
- “reduce or eliminate the need for diabetes drugs or insulin”
The internet is peppered with ads for products that claim to treat or cure medical problems and use phony testimonials and endorsements to get consumers’ attention. It is a very big business and it includes peddling counterfeit medicine and phony cures for a variety of medical conditions, including Ebola, obesity, poor memory, Lyme’s disease, cancer and even concussions.
What the marketing does not mention is that unapproved “medical” products also may contain potentially toxic substances.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau says you can easily spot a fake “cure” by watching out for these red flags:
Marketing claims that are vague or appear exaggerated – Fake medical treatment peddlers will make bold assertions that their product is a “miracle cure,” “scientific breakthrough,” contains a “secret ingredient” or is an “ancient remedy.”
It does not require a prescription - If a real cure for a serious disease were discovered, it would be widely reported through the news media and prescribed by health professionals - not buried in print ads, TV infomercials or on websites.
Conspiracy theories - These statements are used to distract consumers from the obvious, common-sense questions about the so-called miracle cure.
One product “does it all, instantly” - Be suspicious of products that claim to immediately cure a wide range of diseases. No one product could be effective against a long and varied list of conditions or diseases.
Personal testimonials instead of scientific evidence - Success stories are easy to make up and not a substitute for scientific evidence. Scam websites are known to illegally download and use the logos of national news organizations and almost any other image that help lend credibility to a fraudulent product.
It's all natural - Just because a product is "natural" does not necessarily mean it's good for you. All natural does not mean the same thing as safe.
Check with your doctor - If you're tempted to buy an unproven product marketed with extraordinary claims, check first with your physician or other health care professional.
To find out more about other scams, check BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam).