Telling lies to other people about a certain product is an illegal act called fraud.  People who sell worthless medical treatments or products (that are falsely attributed to great health and/or recovery from a certain, or all sickness) are engaged in health fraud, which is also known today as quackery.  These people are called quacks.  Quacks often promise customers that a certain special treatment or product will surely bring about an instant cure for any sickness or at least greatly improve a person's health.  The most dangerous potential results of quackery is that it can keep someone who is sick/ill from receiving proper medical care they need in order to be better.  If a person believes that a quack remedy is actually working, he/she might end up postponing a meeting to see a doctor, and in a lot of cases, this action will result in either being even more sick than before, or in more unfortunate circumstances, may possibly even lead to death.

Recognizing Health Fraud:  Quacks totally depend on their customers' lack of knowledge and information about health product and appropriate treatments along with their desperate desire to find a cure for their disease.  If a disease is life-threatening, such as cancer, however, it results in becoming an even more likely target for quacks because the demand for a cure for those types of diseases are much bigger.  So are conditions that are long-lasting, such as arthritis, or problems with being fat.  People can help avoid health fraud by carefully evaluating each of the claims made by a potential quack about any certain treatment or product they are selling and where they got it from.  These are some warning signs of quackery.

  • Someone claims that a product or treatment is the only possible and available cure for a health problem.
  • The promised results sound or are way too good to be true and are totally unrealistic.
  • A product or treatment is said to be able to cure many different ailments, sicknesses and terminal illness, such as lung cancer, colon cancer, etc.
  • A product is said to contain special or secret ingredients in its contents that other medicines do not have.

Responding to Health Fraud:  If you have doubts about any product or treatment you may want to buy, you can always ask a doctor or pharmacist you know or trust.  Always remember to notify your state's Office of Attorney General about any health fraud you might uncover in your state and local area.  If you know for sure that a local business is involved in fraudulent activity, let your local Better Business Bereau know of it as well so they can take care of the problem as soon as possible.  If you buy a fraudulent product that is shipped to you by mail, also remember to notify your local postmaster about the product.