Health Scams: Don’t Take Risks With Your Health and Your Money

Lots of people are fooled with buying health products that sound great, but are really fakes.  These products may cause serious health problems, such as pain, suffering, or even death.

Watch out for the following fraudulent claims:

  • It’s Natural. Just because a product is “natural” does not mean it is safe.
  • It’s So Easy. Don’t believe the promises of “lose weight while you sleep.”  If it sounds too easy, it might be a scam.
  • Miracle Cure. Generally, one pill will not treat or cure many different illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or arthritis.
  • It Worked for Me. Personal success stories by “real people” or doctors are easy to make up.
  • They Don’t Want You to Know. Always ask your health care providers what is best for your health.

 

For additional information on health fraud and scams go to http://www.fda.gov/healthfraud, http://www.fda.gov/medwatch, and http://www.ftc.gov

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students if they have fallen prey to health care scammers.
  • Have students make a short presentation with a summary of actions that might be taken to avoid health scams.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do health scammers continue to prey on unsuspecting consumers?
  2. What can consumers do to avoid being victimized by health scammers?

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