Commonwealth logo, ACCC Logo and Scamwatch banner

SCAMwatch homeHealth and medical scams

Health and medical scams

These scams try to make money by exploiting people who have a medical condition or who are worried about their health. The scammers offer solutions or cures where none exist or promise to simplify complex health treatments.

Like the other scams featured on SCAMwatch, health and medical scams can end up costing you a lot of money. However, these scams can also do significant damage to you health.

If you try a phoney medicine or treatment, use a dangerous weight loss technique or take medicine that you buy from an unqualified internet scammer, you could be putting your health at great risk.


Miracle cure scams prey on the sick or desperate by selling drugs or treatments that don’t work or are even dangerous.

False claims are made to mislead you into buying ‘revolutionary’ pills, creams, diet advice or machines.

Fake online pharmacies offer drugs and medicines at very cheap prices or without a prescription. They can cause you major health and money problems.

Similar scams:

Spam emails, SMS or MMS usually offer free goods or ‘prizes’, very cheap products or promises of wealth. Responding to spam messages can result problems for you computer and your bank account.

Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic or compassionate side. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.

If you are contacted by a psychic or clairvoyant offering you mystical secrets to wealth, health and luck, be very wary. Do not be fooled by fantastic claims and promises, they may be scams.

There are many types of scams that aim to steal your credit card details, either by taking the card itself or by tricking you into giving them the card’s details.

Printer friendly
Quick links

© Commonwealth of Australia 2015