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Miracle cures

What are miracle cure scams?

Miracle cure scams cover a whole range of products and services which can appear to be legitimate alternative medicine. They cover health treatments for all kinds of medical conditions from cancer and AIDS to arthritis and colds. Miracle cure scams usually promise quick and easy remedies for serious medical conditions.

They are usually promoted by people with no medical qualifications who come up with a range of claims about why their products are not supported by conventional doctors. For example, they might talk about medical industry conspiracies to silence them or secret ancient techniques that challenge modern practices.

Miracle cure scams are particularly nasty because they usually increase health and emotional stress, they are costly, and they can be dangerous if they prevent you from seeking expert medical advice. They exploit people’s hopes for improved health and end up causing more problems for people who already have enough to deal with.

Warning signs

  • The treatment claims to be effective against a very wide range of ailments.
  • The miracle cure is suggested after a condition is diagnosed using a questionnaire (often on the internet).
  • The product is sold through unconventional means. For example, it might be sold over the internet, by unqualified individuals, through mail order ads, or on television infomercials.
  • The product relies on some guru figure, or a certain ingredient that is claimed to have mystical properties.
  • There is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that the miracle cure actually works.
  • Miracle cures usually include anonymous testimonials, for example ‘Luke, from Melbourne…’.

Protect yourself from miracle cure scams

  • If it looks too good to be true—it probably is.
  • Be very careful about offers for medicines, supplements or other treatments: always seek the advice of your health care professional.
  • Only give out your personal details and information where it is absolutely necessary and where you have initiated the contact and trust the other party.
  • ALWAYS get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  • Use your common sense: the offer may be a scam.

As well as following these specific tips, find out how to protect yourself from all sorts of other scams.

Do your homework

You should seek independent medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care professional about the miracle cure to see if it is safe and suitable for you. Remember that a legitimate diagnosis cannot be made by someone who is not qualified or has not seen you. Do not rely solely on information you find on the internet.

If you are interested in the product, find out if there are any published medical or research papers to back up the claims. Make sure you know the full cost of the product or service, and if there is a genuine money back guarantee.

Decide

If you think a medical treatment is a scam, simply ignore it.

You should be very careful when it comes to decisions about your health. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care professional if you are considering a new medical treatment or product.

Report them

If you think you may be the victim of a miracle cure scam, seek advice from a qualified health care professional as soon as possible.

If you have seen a miracle cure scam, you can let the authorities know through the report a scam section of SCAMwatch. You can also lodge complaints about miracle cure advertisements with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

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What to do if you've been scammed; Scams & the law; Report a scam.

Similar scams:


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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