Fight Back Against the Quacks
Don't Be Fooled
By Jed Nitzberg
Reviewed By Gary Vogin
Jan. 21, 2002 -- Just as the saying goes: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." People take this advice all the time -- except when it comes to healthcare. The never-ending quest to look better or feel better leads people to spend millions on fake -- or downright dangerous -- potions, lotions, pills, and devices. Worst of all, quackery can keep people from seeking appropriate medical care, sometimes until it's too late and the damage is done.
According to the National Institute on Aging, people of all ages are fair game for quackery, but older people form the largest group of victims. In fact, a federal study found that 60% of all victims of healthcare fraud are older people.
What Do Quacks Promise?
Anti-Aging. The normal processes of aging are a rich territory for medical quackery. In a youth-oriented society, quacks find it easy to promote a wide variety of products. They simply say their products can stop or reverse aging processes or relieve conditions associated with old age. While there are products that may reduce wrinkles or reverse baldness for some people, these products cannot slow the body's aging process
Four Steps to Protecting Yourself
1) One way to protect yourself is to question carefully what you see or hear in ads. Although there are exceptions, the news media do not regularly screen their ads for truth or accuracy.
4) If you suspect a scam is taking place, report it to:
Food and Drug Administration
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