Helping women with chronic illnesses

Scam Busters

This post is a partial reprint of an article I read on The Canary Report.

While the full post there was more detailed and got into specifics involving claims made by companies targeting multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) patients, for the purposes of this post I have decided to focus on the ten warning signs of a scam, as compiled by Lourdes Salvador and Linda Sepp, and as previously published HERE.

This list, in my opinion, is applicable to nearly any chronic illness patient because the tips for spotting scams listed here are so universally used. This fantastic list is far more concise than I could have written. Yet it captured something I have been wanting to blog about for some time. Longtime readers know that I have blogged about scams and false cures before. However, this list nicely sums up what you, as a chronically ill patient, can be on the lookout for.

Reprinted with permission from:

Lourdes Salvador of MCS America
Linda Sepp, a contributor for The Canary Report


Ten Warning Signs of a Scam:

1. The Promise Of A Quick And Easy Cure

2. Presence Unproven Patient Testimonials & Emotional Appeals Instead Of Science

3. Claims To Cure Many Ailments Which Have No Cure In Medical Science

4. It’s Not Sold In Stores

5. It Has Undisclosed Ingredients Or Content

6. You Have To Keep At It To Get Results

7. It Doesn’t Work Because You Did It Wrong

8. Science Hasn’t Even Bothered To Discredit It (No Threat To Pharmaceutical Sales)

9. The Seller Lacks A Medical Degree Or Similar Qualification

10. It’s Too Good To Be True

Copyrighted © 2009 MCS America


I am very grateful to Susie Collins for posting about this topic and to Linda Sepp and Lourdes Salvador for writing about this very important topic!

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

New to blog commenting? Just click “comments” below post. (If you set up a Gravatar, your picture will show when you comment).

Reading: Scam Busters


1 Susie CollinsNo Gravatar { 12.05.09 at 3:56 am }

Thanks for the shout out, Jeanne! And thanks for leaving the GREAT comment on the post. xoxo
.-= Susie Collins´s last blog ..The false promise of miracle cures for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity =-.

2 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.05.09 at 4:06 am }


I exchanged some lovely messages with Lourdes and Linda and was thrilled to reprint this “Top 10” list here. As you know, scams targeting chronically ill patients are a very sore spot for me!!

If it weren’t for your blog, I never would have spotted the original post that you reprinted. So a shout out to you was certainly in order.

Susie, I am blessed to have met you because I have learned so much from you and your site. Thank you for all that you do! (Pssst: Sometimes I think you are secretly Superwoman). 🙂

I am also grateful to have had this article serve as an opportunity to get acquainted with Lourdes and Linda, both of whom are delightful!


3 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 12.06.09 at 3:24 pm }

Number 5 would really be a tip-off to me. Isn’t everything by FDA supposed to have all ingredients / content disclosed?

Hopefully lots of people will read this, as people who are normally just as smart and savvy as the rest of us can fall for these scams when emotionally vulnerable, wanting desperately to believe.

Thanks, Jeanne!
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Like A bord On A Wire, 13 — Funny Typos =-.

4 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.06.09 at 3:44 pm }


There are many companies that will claim an ingredient or combination of ingredients is “proprietary information”. There are many products with labeling that does not disclose information that I believe the public has a right to know.

I agree that people who are savvy can be taken advantage of when they are feeling such pain or desperation that they reach a point where they are willing to try almost anything. The individuals and companies who employ the tactics listed in this post know exactly what they are doing. These are their tried and true methods. The more awareness there is of the hallmark signs to look for with such scams, the less likely that people will be taken advantage of by those who prey on the sick and vulnerable.

Thanks, Jannie!


5 EndochickNo Gravatar { 12.06.09 at 11:56 pm }

This list is soooooo important! It’s so easy to smell a scam once you know how to look for one. And, truth be told, some of them so are so transparent even a child could identify them. Yet, still every day people fall prey to these scams – not just on the Internet but from television, radio, and magazine ads promising effortless results and backed by false claims and no science. This just backs what I always say – only scientifically tested drugs, tested by peer reviewed methods with published results, are worth my time and energy.
.-= Endochick´s last blog ..16 with endometriosis: a reply =-.

6 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.07.09 at 1:15 am }


Some scams are more sophisticated than others but I agree that it does get easier to smell a scam when you know what to look for. That’s why I asked permission to reprint this list here. I think it does an outstanding job of outlining some of the hallmark signs of scams.

I have written before (as I know you have) about various scams. What I really liked about this list from Lourdes Salvador and Linda Sepp is that it really seems to capture in a nutshell some of the classic signs to be on the lookout for… and I believe people really do need to be just that: “on the lookout”.

When it comes to health products and services, scammers specifically & intentionally target people who are very ill. This same group of people are particularly vulnerable.

Chronic pain and desire to get relief can sometimes border on sheer desperation for relief of symptoms. This sometimes results in people getting taken advantage of. It is much more difficult to take advantage of people who are on the lookout for signs of scams.

As I believe the items on this list are applicable to a wide range of conditions, I hope as many people as possible see these. It saddens me that there are so many companies preying on patients. Anything we can do to help each other avoid such pitfalls is time well spent in my book.


7 YayaNo Gravatar { 12.08.09 at 2:54 pm }

Ah yes. The ‘too good to be true’ one is a rule I live by through all areas of life.
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..We’re Moving! (Hopefully) =-.

8 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.08.09 at 3:16 pm }


I’m a big fan of that rule too. 🙂


9 Boxing BagsNo Gravatar { 12.31.09 at 12:08 pm }

“10. It’s Too Good To Be True”

Great advice! My motto has always been “if it sounds too good to be true…it usual is!”

10 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.31.09 at 7:10 pm }

Boxing Bags,

Yes, I agree… “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is” is right!


11 JeanneNo Gravatar { 04.23.10 at 1:51 am }

Thanks for your comment, Bil, but I am not going to post it. I do not post comments containing plugs for any particular therapy or protocol, especially when it is off topic. My post did not address Hopper’s therapy, only the 10 points.


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