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It might be tempting to try a “miracle cure” for your aches and pains, but remember that your health is too important to be trusted to someone who wants to sell you something. Here are some other tips to help you sort out the good from the bad or fraudulent in health and beauty products, especially those available only through mail order: 

  • Beware if the advertising or salesman proclaims the product is available only by mail or by special order, or that the product is made with a "special," "secret," "foreign," or "ancient" formula. You’ll very likely be wasting your money. 

  • No drug or product can treat everything. Don’t believe a sales pitch that claims a product will cure a broad range of ailments with different causes. Any product that sounds too good to be true probably is.   

  • Remember that testimonials/case histories from customers who have used the product with fabulous success, are often fiction.   

  • Be wary of advertising or statements claiming that the medical establishment has overlooked the advantages of, or wants to prevent your benefiting from, the product being offered.   

  • If you are tempted to try any sort of alternative health product, discuss the idea first with your family physician, a pharmacist, or another health care professional. They may be able to suggest books or scientific articles that will provide objective information on the product you are considering.    

  • Remember that even if the salesman or advertisement guarantees the product, you will probably be unable to get your money back if you are not satisfied.   

  • If you have been the victim of a fraudulent scheme involving the sale of a “health” product, report your experience to a postal inspector or your local postmaster, a consumers’ group, or the Better Business Bureau.  

  • Remember, there is no shame in being conned.  It is not your fault.  The fault lies exclusively with the perpetrator for lying or deceiving you.  By reporting the person or organization to the authorities, you are not admitting fault.  But you are certainly helping to prevent someone else from being conned as well.

  • Where health and medical products are concerned, it is very likely that someone will put their health at risk.  Because of that, fraudulent claims regarding medications or medical devices are strongly regulated.  Those that violate such regulations are not merely guilty of fraud, but may be convicted of much stronger and more serious crimes.

  • Report your suspicions as soon as possible.  The sooner that you report someone that has taken advantage of you, the sooner the authorities will be able to catch up to them.  If you are reporting an illegal scheme, the sooner you report it, the more likely that you will be able to recoup some of your money.

    If you wait, the conman and your money are likely to completely disappear without a trace.


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