United States Postal Inspection Service - Banner


Skip Navigation Links

Fraudulent Health and Medical Products

Senior citizens are special targets of the quacks and con men who are out to sell worthless medical products. Their claims are highly deceptive and usually promise miracles. Watch out for such exaggerated claims as "instant cures for arthritis," "lose weight without effort," "grow hair overnight," or "look years younger."

The pills, lotions and creams sold by these con artists will supposedly cures arthritis, rheumatism, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, cancer, obesity, impotency, and a host of other ailments. Hardly any of these products have been properly tested or proven medically effective, and some are even dangerous to your health.

These medically ineffective or dangerous products are sold by professional con men who have no medical training, and will use every trick to get you to buy their products. Sales gimmicks include bogus testimonials from "satisfied customers," emotional sales pitches to play on your problems, and outright lies regarding a product's effectiveness.

To avoid being taken by a worthless or quack cure, remember that you should not trust your health to a salesman. Also, remember:

  • Don't believe claims that a product available only by mail or from an "exclusive" supplier contains a "special," "secret," "foreign," or "ancient" formula that will provide the cure or relief you seek.

  • Don't believe claims that a "miracle" drug or product will effectively treat a wide variety of illnesses or ailments.

  • Don't accept "testimonials" or case histories from "satisfied customers" as the only evidence that the product actually works.

  • Don't believe claims the medical establishment overlooked or suppressed a "scientific breakthrough" the promoter is trying to sell you.

If you have any doubts about a product someone is trying to sell you that promise the relief you have been looking for, discuss it first with your family doctor or other informed health professional. And remember, money-back guarantees are usually worthless, and a product that sounds too good to be true probably won't do what it claims to do. If you've been victimized by a health product fraud scheme, report your experience to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector.