The Top Health Scams and How to Avoid Them

The online marketplace is full of scams, and the health industry is far from immune.  Everything from the Acai Berry to weight loss pills are being promoted by scammers.  So, how can you avoid these Acai Berry scams, magic diets, and miracle cures?  Well, to avoid the scams you first have to be aware of them.  These tips will help you to avoid the worst of the scammers.

1. Know your products:  If you’re in the market for frozen Acai Berry, then do some research. It pays to know what you’re buying. Common Acai Berry scams include selling powders, pills, and drinks that contain only one or two percent Acai Berry.  These Acai Berry scams work because the seller isn’t breaking the law – as long as the product does contain some Acai Berry, buyers are getting what they expect.  The sad thing for the buyer is that they’re paying for a premium product, but getting something that costs next to nothing to produce.

2. Exaggerated claims:  Diet pill marketing is full of exaggerated claims.  Some products claim stats as high as 20 or 30lbs of weight loss in just one week.  While this isn’t impossible, in terms of scale weight, it’s highly likely that the weight loss is mostly from water weight, rather than fat – which is what the marketers want you to assume.  Real, sustainable weight loss is much slower.  Aim for 1lb a week, and you’re more likely to keep it off long term.

3. Miracle cures:  Some scammers want you to believe that they have found the cure for cancer, or a way to reverse ageing, or perhaps end the pain of arthritis without you needing to take pain killers every day.  This sort of marketing preys on the desperate, and gives false hope to people with serious health problems.  While it’s possible that the product may offer some benefits (many super foods have been found to have a positive effect on some medical conditions, but conclusive clinical trials still need to be done), it’s always better to seek professional medical advice.  If you’re getting treatment, and can afford to try other solutions, do so – but not at the expense of proven medicine.

4.  Free trials that are hard to cancel:  This scam is common in almost every industry.  The scammer offers you a free trial – but then requires that you cancel over the telephone, or by mail – and gives an incredibly limited time window for doing so.  The scammers hope that you will either forget to cancel, or decide that cancelling is not worth the effort.

5. Misleading pricing:  Some scammers promote a special offer price, but only offer that price for a limited time, or with strings attached.  To get the full service suggested in the advertisements, you need to pay a lot more.   This one is common in Acai Berry scams and other weight loss scams.  The price on the website might just be for an eBook, or guide – but if you want the real product, you pay a lot more!

[box type=”note”]This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Which Acai Berry? Amy is interested in consumer issues and enjoys researching and writing about them.[/box]

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This post was written by contributing author at Hive Health Media. If you would like to write for us about health, fitness, or blogging topics, click here.

4 thoughts on “The Top Health Scams and How to Avoid Them

  • August 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Health Advicer, thank you for sharing this information. It’s really sad that people often get overwhelmed with the possibilities and tend to put themselves in a bad situation in their hopes of becoming healthy and fit. It pays to be informed and we should not rush into these products just because it’s popular. Add the fact that these “marketers” take advantage and prey to the desperate and lost, we should really just try to bring it back to the basics and exercise as much as we could and stay away from processed foods by all means necessary.

  • August 22, 2011 at 2:03 am

    There is a product called Acai Berry Detox distributed by FWM laboratories. They advertise a free sample bottle of a weight loss supplement for .99 cents. Which seems like a great offer, the catch however is that they don’t ship the product for 14 days along with the literature that states to avoid full payment on your credit card for this product you must cancel your membership within 15 days of you order.
    In essence you must cancel your membership as soon as you receive the product to avoid paying the full price. Now get this, if you fail to cancel they charge you $86 for the “free trial” bottle! That’s right, $86 for a bottle of 30 dietary supplement pills and you basically have 24 hours to avoid this charge.
    This company is taking advantage of consumers and practicing what I believe to be unfair sales.
    They advertise on Yahoo, Myspace, and Facebook. Tell your friends and let everyone know about this scam.

  • August 22, 2011 at 12:44 am

    So true, there are countless health products claiming exaggerated health benefits in the market. More often than not, this is deceiving. The truth is that a lot of health products available online are only effective when it comes to their advertisements, but in real life setting they are not as effective as it is. So be very careful when choosing a health product in the internet so as to ensure the safety of your health as well as you’re hard earned money will not be wasted.


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