Miracle cures

Miracle cure scams make promises about a range of ‘cure-all’ products and services that can appear to be legitimate treatments for many different medical conditions.

How this scam works

Miracle cure scams usually promise quick and easy remedies for serious medical conditions. They exploit the emotional vulnerability of people who are suffering from serious health problems.

These scams cover a range of products and services which can appear to be legitimate alternative medicine. They can take the form of health treatments for medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, arthritis or the common cold.  Some products even claim to be a ‘cure-all’ for diseases and specific symptoms.

Miracle cure scams are usually promoted by people with no medical qualifications who will tell you all sorts of stories to explain why their products are not supported by conventional doctors. For example, they might talk about secret ancient techniques that challenge modern practices or medical industry conspiracies that aim to silence them.

These phony miracle products can have dangerous interactions with medicines you’re already taking. They might even cause you to delay or stop medical treatment for your condition, even when proven treatments are available from your physician.

Warning signs

  • The treatment claims to be effective against a very wide range of ailments, but there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that the miracle cure actually works.
  • The miracle cure is suggested after a condition is diagnosed using a questionnaire (often on the internet).
  • The product is promoted as including a certain ingredient that is claimed to have amazing mystical properties or the approval of some guru figure.
  • The product is promoted with anonymous testimonials, for example ‘Luke, from Melbourne…’.

Protect yourself

  • Be careful about offers for medicines, supplements or other treatments: always seek independent medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care professional about the product to find out if it is safe and suitable for you.
  • A medical 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.
  • Find out if there are any published medical or research papers to back up the claims of the product. Make sure you know the full cost of the product or service, and if there is a genuine money back guarantee.
  • Trust your judgment: if you think it's possible a medical treatment is a scam, just ignore it.

Have you been scammed?

If you've been scammed there are steps you can take to minimise the damage and prevent further loss.

We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.

Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

More information

Fake online pharmacies

Fake online pharmacies operate through websites or emails offering you cheap healthcare products and medicines – sometimes without needing a prescription.