The Competition Bureau of Canada has published the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition and it is available online at https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.htm. The information is invaluable and should be of interest to virtually everyone. Over the next few months, WAVS will be publishing the information from the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition, one scam at a time. Last week we published Identity Theft. Today the topic is:
Health and Medical Scams
Watch our for magical cures that offer quick and easy fixes.
There are fraudsters out there who hope to take advantage of people’s suffering. The three most common types of health scams are miracle cures, weight loss programs and fake online pharmacies. In all cases, they often appear as sponsored post on social media or website pop-ups.
Scammers offer products and services that seem to be legitimate alternative medicines and treatments that quickly and easily treat 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 promise dramatic results with little to 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 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 not receive the promised products, there is no guarantee they are the real thing or safe to take.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Remember 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 straight from your healthcare 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 endorsements or testimonials.
If you suspect a scam, always report it
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police, has plenty of information on fraud. Power up today by visiting www.antifraudcentre.ca!
Additional organizations to contact depending on the situation:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 www.antifraudcentre.ca
Competition Bureau 1-800-348-5358 www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
Consumer Affairs www.consumerhandbook.ca
Securities Administrator www.securities-administrators.ca
Ontario Provincial Police 1-888-310-1122