“Miracle cures” seem to be everywhere these days, promising remedies for everything from arthritis to diabetes to, yes, cancer. But beware of anything that is promoted as a panacea: Because if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
These miracle cures are most prevalent on the Internet. If you try to investigate them, you’ll often find that the same people promoting the cure write the reviews too. The testimonials are almost always anonymous, yet if you look closely you’ll notice that the language (and often substandard grammar) are similar to the promotional materials.
There’s also often a video of someone going on and on about this magical new (or sometimes ancient) medicine. You’ll be told that the medical establishment rejects these products, and that you have to act quickly before the website is shut down. And then, of course, they ask you for your credit card number.
Recently, I got an email with a subject line that read: “Neuropathy Miracle.” I assume it was prompted by my Google search for “peripheral neuropathy,” which is a sensation of tingling and pain in that occurs in the body’s extremities — in my case, the feet. It can result from many causes, including diabetes. For cancer patients, it is a side effect of chemotherapy.
Dr. Randall Labrum, the creator of this particular “cure,” promises to help sufferers get rid of nerve pain in less than seven days through a program “based on the nerve endings.” In between paragraphs, a box reading “Download Instantly” flashes along with a place to leave your credit card information.
The package consists of an electrotherapy device, socks, and cuff for $185.
On a website called Neurotalk, someone wrote about searching for information on Dr. Labrum’s six-step plan, but could not find any real-world reviews. Another commenter replied: “He keeps everything a secret unless you buy his book/CD....enough said.”
I had searched in the first place because the drug I take, Neurontin (gabapentin), only partially masks the discomfort from my neuropathy. It also has the side effect of making me drowsy.
Making even bolder claims, the author of “Ultimate Miracle Cure” — also called “The Oxygen Miracle Cure” — says it works for any illness. If you want to find out how, you need to buy two books. The creator, Kevin Richardson, claims that his oxygen cure can make any illness “vaporize out of the body.”
Luckily, there are others fighting back against these online snake oil salesman. A website called ScamWatch offers this advice for protecting yourself from miracle cure scams:
· • Be careful about offers for medicines, supplements or other treatments: Always seek the advice of your health care professional.
• Only give out your personal details and information where it is absolutely necessary and where you have initiated the contact and trust the other party.
• Always get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
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