News - 08 Dec `19Fake Vitiligo Product and Ad Scams

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There’s currently neither a cure for vitiligo, nor a universal method for limiting the spread of white lesions. Visible symptoms are temporarily reversible with a range of treatments, but it is not possible to predict what will work best for which patients. New medicines are under development by Big Pharma and biotech startups. 

While we’re going after science scams, fake research and blatant plagiarism, we should take a quick look at scam ads, as well.

RIP-OFFS

Miracle cure scams usually promise quick and easy fix for a range of health conditions. They often appear to be alternative, Ayurvedic or Chinese medicine, backed with some kind of research papers and testimonials of satisfied customers.

Be wary of Google or Facebook ads for such medicines. Most products for vitiligo marketed today are a waste of your money and time. What's worse, they can have dangerous interactions with other medicines you’re already taking, contain hidden drug ingredients, and cause severe damage to your health. "Anti-vitiligo" oils and "pure natural" supplements are not the only health scams on the market. But even armed with 6 Tip-offs to Rip-offs from FDA, fraudulent products are not always easy to spot.

And the first step towards the fake product website begins with an ad.

FAKE ADS

The snake oil salesmen of old have morphed into the deceptive, high-tech marketers of today. Much as the fake news creators gamed Facebook and Google’s algorithms, brazen online sellers found the way to make a quick buck by gaming up their advertising networks. They are able to target their unabashed advertising on anyone with remarkable accuracy and sophistication.

They can instantaneously create personalized product pages on their websites —  just for you. You'll get "individualized" pricing and specific wording based on your web browsing history, physical location, default system language and other settings, to maximize their profits from your ills.

IS THAT AD DECEPTIVE?

A three-part test used in the law can help us answer that question:

  1. Was a claim made? (i.e. "Pure Natural Product For Vitiligo")
  2. Is the claim likely to mislead a reasonable consumer? (i.e., "Get Results, Look Better Or Your Money Back!")
  3. Does the promise involve health or other important matter? (i.e., "<...> has worked for thousands of children, teenagers, and adults suffering from this skin disorder.")

If the answer to the three questions is “yes,” then we have a misleading ad for a fake product.

BETTER SAFE

When you encounter one of these, please report fake vitiligo product ads to Google or Facebook, accordingly.  This will warn advertising networks about suspicious activity, help them find similar ads and disrupt scams where possible. 

Spread the word to your family and support group members to protect them. Better safe than sorry!

 

      FAQOther Questions

      • Isn't it just a cosmetic disorder?

        Contrary to popular belief, vitiligo is not a cosmetic disorder but a systemic disease affecting the largest body organ and other vital systems, with multiple comorbidities. Fo...

      • What's better: laser or phototherapy?

        In a recent study researchers assessed effect and safety of different laser and phototherapy treatments, such as excimer laser/light, narrowband UVB, UVA and PUVA. No significa...

      • Can a gluten-free diet help with vitiligo?

        It's very unlikely. We have specifically looked into claims that gluten-free diet may ease symptoms of vitiligo, or completely reverse it, and found no firm scientific evidence ...