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© Rick Lohmeyer, 2011  301-404-2630
Internet Medical Fraud Quackery has been around for thousands of years; now it is sophisticated, pervasive and cheats millions of people. It is not limited to drugs or doctors, and can include lifestyle changes, supplements and medical devices and procedures. Medical and Health Fraud: Medical fraud threatens your health and your pocketbook Often a remedy that is unproven; stories not science Supplemental insurance for high prices, little coverage Counterfeit drugs are common - use known sources Fake and useless medical devices are also common Promise quick cures without side effects Always too good to be true - get a second and third opinion Do not give out your credit or financial information Watch out for medical identity theft - look into unexpected bills Clues to Fraud: “secret formula”, “proven”, “miracle cure”, “works overnight”, “guaranteed to work”, “live longer”
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People still pay money for magnetic cures, which have been around for over a hundred years.
Protect Yourself from Online Medical and Health Fraud Avoid Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for "Secret Formulas" or "Breakthroughs." Don't be afraid to ask questions about the product. Find out exactly what it should and should not do for you. Research a product thoroughly before buying it. Call the Better Business Bureau to find out if other people have complained about the product. Be wary of products that claim to cure a wide variety of illnesses—particularly serious ones—that don't appear to be related. Be aware that testimonials and/or celebrity endorsements are often misleading. Be very careful of products that are marketed as having no side effects. Question products that are advertised as making visits to a physician unnecessary. Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary or nutritional supplement. Tips for Avoiding Health Care Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud: Never sign blank insurance claim forms. Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services rendered. Ask your medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket. Carefully review your insurer's explanation of the benefits statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions. Do not do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that services of medical equipment are free. Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services. Keep accurate records of all health care appointments and save your receipts. Know if your physician ordered equipment for you; call if you have any question. Tips for Avoiding Counterfeit Prescription Drugs: Be mindful of appearance. Closely examine the packaging and lot numbers of prescription drugs and be alert to any changes from one prescription to the next. Consult your pharmacist or physician if your prescription drug looks suspicious. Alert your pharmacist and physician immediately if your medication causes adverse side effects or if your condition does not improve. Use caution when purchasing drugs on the Internet. Do not purchase medications from unlicensed online distributors or those who sell medications without a prescription. Reputable online pharmacies will have a seal of approval called the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (VIPPS), provided by the Association of Boards of Pharmacy in the United States. Be aware that product promotions or cost reductions and other "special deals" may be associated with counterfeit product promotion.
Online Fraud
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