The three most common types of health scams are miracle cures, weight-loss programs and fake online pharmacies.
Video length: 1 minute, 14 seconds
How it works
Miracle cures: Scammers offer products and services that seem to be legitimate alternative medicines and treatments for quickly and easily treating serious conditions. Some of these may seem to be endorsed by celebrities or promoted by testimonials of people claiming to have been cured.
Weight loss scams: These scams promise dramatic results with little or no effort. The scammers might promote unusual diets; revolutionary exercises; fat-busting devices; or “breakthrough” products, such as pills, patches, or creams.
Fake online pharmacies: These scammers offer drugs and medications at very cheap prices or without a doctor’s prescription. They advertise on the Internet and send spam emails. If you do receive the promised products, there is no guarantee they are the real thing or safe to take.
How to spot it
These scams often appear as sponsored posts on social media or as website pop-up ads on the Internet or spam emails.
- Remember that there are no magic pills or miracle cures for achieving quick weight loss or treating medical conditions.
- Don’t trust claims about medicines, supplements or other treatments. Get the facts from your health care professional.
- Never commit to anything under pressure, especially if a large advance payment or long-term contract is required.
- Know that if an online pharmacy is legitimate, it will require valid prescriptions.
- Be skeptical of celebrity and influencer endorsements or testimonials.