It’s a phony ad for a phony product created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to alert consumers to the dangers of diabetes treatment scams on the Internet.
Evaluating online health claims is a two-step process. First, be smart. Then, be skeptical. It's best to check any product out with your health care provider. That's because some fraudulent marketers try to make money by peddling products that sound great, but just don't — and can't — work as promised.
Here are some tips on how to spot scams before you get stung.
- A promise that a product can cure diabetes is a tip-off to a rip-off. There’s no pill, patch, tea, herb, or other “miracle” treatment that can make diabetes go away forever.
- Ads that promise too much generally deliver nothing. Don’t buy any product that claims it can do it all — stabilize your blood sugar, end your need for insulin, regenerate your pancreas, reduce your cholesterol, and cause easy weight loss.
- A product that claims to be a “scientific breakthrough" may be a bust. Researchers around the world are racing to find better treatments for diabetes, so genuine scientific discoveries make front-page news. If the first you hear about a new treatment is an ad on the Internet, be suspicious.
- Ads that try hard to sound scientific are suspect. Technical terms don't necessarily mean medical proof. And the presence of a doctor in an ad is no guarantee the product works. Scam artists have been known to dress models to look like experts.
- Don’t be swayed by a questionable “success story". Despite what the company claims, there’s no guarantee that “A.B. of Hometown, USA” had the advertised results — or is even a real person.
- A money-back guarantee does not prove that a product works. Scam artists who offer a guarantee have been known to take your money and run.
- If an ad for a product makes you curious, ask your healthcare provider about it before you try it — or buy it . If you’re thinking about trying something new, run it past a doctor, nurse, dietician, or other health professional who knows your case well.
To learn more, visit ftc.gov/cureall.