Sunday, July 31, 2016

Scammers are Scum

Folks with rare, progressive, terminal diseases are often desperate to find some glimmer of hope for a cure.  I looked to clinical drug trials for hope, and lifestyle changes to improve my quality of life.  My IPF had progressed too far to be accepted into most trials, and I was not the perfect patient for the one trial close by, in Oklahoma, that would take people with more advanced disease. My final option was the lung transplant, and I am very fortunate to have been placed on the list and offered new lungs.

There is a seedy underbelly of humanity (and I do use that term loosely here) that will seek to profit off of desperation. These people and organizations are scum of the earth. You will find them posting in internet communities that are dedicated to supporting the patients and caregivers of disease.  They are also easily found when searching for information on rare diseases.  If they happen to get ahold of a patients email address, they fill the in-box with seductive promises of health and well being.  These miracle cures can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a month. This is money that most cannot afford to be spending, especially spending on false hope. Often the patient can offset the cost of their 'treatment' by referring others to the scammer. Kind of like multi-level marketing for snake oil.

I recently had one of these scammers post a comment here on the blog. I will not be party to promoting disinformation like that.  I did allow this one comment to stay as I wanted to address the issue.  All future comments like this will be deleted without comment or explanation.

Here is the comment and my response:
Joan DavidsJuly 30, 2016 at 7:10 PM(MUST READ: HOW I GOT CURED FROM PULMONARY FIBROSIS)
I was diagnosed of Pulonary fibrosis in March 2014, my doctor told me it has no permanent cure, i was given medication to ease the situation, this affected me so badly as i constantly go short of breath, this continued till a friend of mine Karen told me about Ejiro Herbal Clinic were she bought herbal medicine that totally cured her mother of pulmonary firbosis, I contacted this herbal clinic via their email and purchasd the pulomnary fibrosis herbal remedy, i received the herbal medicine within 7 days and when i started usage my lungs gradually got better until i even forgot i had pulmonary fibrosis, i went back to my familly doctor to test for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis my doctor confirmed my lungs tissue were 98% repaired. Contact this herbal clinic via their email - deleted
 JRJuly 30, 2016 at 8:57 PMJoan, I have never understood the depravity of individuals who prey upon people with terminal illnesses. Your miricle clinic supposedly cures everything from ALS to COPD to emphysema to Parkinson's and now IPF. During my tenure as an IPF patient I was inundated by scum like you who sought to profit off my presumed desperation. I have seen fiends and acquaintances spend money they could not afford on the false hope provided by reprobates such as yourself. They died taking these snake oils, and left their families worse off for it.
I really hope there is a hell, one with a special place for people like you.
Don't bother replying, or commenting on other threads. Comments promoting snake oils will be deleted w/o comment from now on
I am a big fan of people making money.  Heck, I like making money when I can and Lord knows I could really use a bit more of it. But people like Joan here don't just disgust me, they really piss me off.  These are much worse that the Nigerian scammers who prey upon an individuals greed, they go after the hopeless.

Just like with the Nigerian scam emails, there are hints in the comments and emails that this comment is just meant to swindle money from the sick.  I really don't want to point out the obvious as it may help scammers in the future, but if you know your disease, you can find the errors in the message.  It is very obvious that this "Joan" has not been seen for pulmonary fibrosis.

No, a Japanese silkworm enzyme or a Himalayan fungus is not going to cure your fibrosis. No, the drug companies are not suppressing a natural cure so they can sell their high dollar medications.  Before putting your family into debt searching for the miracle cure, remember that quackery is alive and well on the internet. Do your due diligence and do background checks on the treatments offered.

There are quite a few very interesting clinical trials recruiting IPF patients that are worth looking into. One is a Study of Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This is not the same as the Stem Cell clinics that seem to be popping up all over the place. I would approach those with a great deal of caution.

Don't get me wrong.  There are supplements and lifestyle changes that can improve quality of life for many people. The difference is these are not going to empty your bank account and you don't need to get them from a special lab or clinic.

We have a long way to go in improving the diagnosing and treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and clinical trials really are our best hope for the future of treatment.  Right now we have two treatments that slow the progression of disease for many people. Please, look into these before sending your money off to some grifter who is just trying to separate you from your money.

Edit 5/7/18 - You would not believe how many spam comments this post has generated.  Many of them begin with "Glory be to..." the go on to proclaim how the commenter has been cured of AIDS, IPF, Lung Cancer, Herpes and a plethora of other ailments.  These folks obviously didn't read the post, just searched some keywords.  This is both irritating and disheartening.  It really pisses me off that so many people are out to prey upon the desperation of the chronically ill, and saddening that it is profitable for them.

Scams are everywhere.  Last time I was in the hospital I received a call from "Blue Cross Blue Shield" about my account.  I don't have BCBX but they had the last 4 digits of an old plan.  They were trying to "upgrade" my policy.  When I mentioned that I no longer had BCBX, they said, "Oh, I see you have UCH now".  Heavy sigh.  They were obviously a scam from the first sentence out of their mouths, but I kept talking for a bit until I couldn't take any more.  I'm sure it was just a coincidence that I was in the hospital when they called, but they are still scum.

Be careful out there.

Edit 10/11/18 - The scam spam keeps on coming.  One of the latest I've had to delete stated they could cure testicular and ovarian cancer, and... promote penis enlargement.

This kind of crud is going mainstream.  One local radio station has an advertiser that makes like they are sharing testimonials from people who have been helped with everything from cancer to MS to Alzheimer's.  This particular company is selling a very expensive subscription supplement program and is rated D1 by the BBB.

If it sounds to good to be true, it is. 

45 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I was excited that I saw people with COPD have relief then read this article! Fake testimonials im crushed but they didn't get my money! Thank you so much!

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  2. Thanks John for this post. Dt Mapipa on his website claims that beside herbal cure he can also cast spell, bring back husband and help win lotto. That's the red flag right there.

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    Replies
    1. yes i have read this, and i was really chocked. I wrote to him and he told me that he can cure my best friend 100% FORM ipf for 360 us dollars.

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  3. Thanks for your input, I totally agree with you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tony, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

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    2. Thanks guys for the info. I was taken for $210.00 by the Herbal Clinic in South Africa.
      A scam!

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    3. To whom it may concern . I was scammed also. I was looking for a Herbalist to cure my COPD And Emphysema so i found one in South Africa. It cost me 325.00 and then i had to pay another 500.00$ to have it shipped here in 6days.But they don't tell you that. I guess you just assume the 325.00 was for shipping also. So it leaves Johannesburg and goes to another country so before it goes to the UNITED STATES IT get stuck th togo batch fee. I was going to cost me another 800.00$ . Really~!! WTF. Nope not going to happen. You can stick it . I dont want it. I lost out on this. Live and learn. And still texts me all day long.
      ;

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    4. What was the name of that company. I think I a, a victim as well

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  4. And they go around leaving spam on other people's website blogs too!

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    Replies
    1. You'd be surprised how large a scamspam magnet this post is.

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  5. You indicated toward the end that there are two treatments that slow the progression of IPF in many people. What are they?

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    Replies
    1. Pirfenidone (Esbriet) and nintedanib (Ofev) were approved to treat IPF in the United States in 2014.

      http://pulmccm.org/main/2014/interstitial-lung-disease-review/fda-approves-pirfenidone-esbriet-nintedanib-ofev-ipf/

      There are quite a few promising clinical trials available for folks to enroll in pretty much all over the world. Things really are getting exciting on the research front.

      https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=ipf&recr=Open

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  6. Are there actually any dr's that can cure HPV or herpe? Or all these people are just scam? If there is can somebody please post their contact info. Thank you

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  7. Hi John thank you for the post I was also taken by Dr Mapipa 120.-
    ( probably not a real Dr photo looks like a woman and they tried to call me and was a man) and was checking where to report, like with W.U. they have a ph number listed I saw; we all need to speak up about this FRAUD. Thank you !

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  8. http://cybercrime.org.za/reporting
    Several resources are available to handle the issues that arise online and allows for anonymous and confidential reporting.

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  9. I ordered and paid for the COPD herbal formula 3 days ago and now i can not get hold of them. They do not answer their cellphone and e mails.I also have not received the formula as promised. It looks like a scam to me.
    Chris Liebenberg

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  10. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post.
    Mental health

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  11. After The Health Herbal Clinic phoned me at 6:45am I mailed them:
    I respond very negatively to pressure.
    Your claim of 100% cure for 100% of illnesses is not only not credible, it shows a disrespect for people's intelligence. Your approach to commerce reeks of desperation. I am dying yet I am not as desperate as you.
    Please do not contact me again.
    But he did mail back:
    You are actually sick. Hope you die from your disease so your rest of the family know health is wealth.

    These snake oil guys can be venomous.

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    Replies
    1. You just saved me 350 dollars. God bless you

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  12. Hi, there! Health Herbal Clinic is a huge scam!!! Never attempt to buy from them!! They or he( so called dr.Robert) are money extortionists!!! They recently scammed me for a lot of money.

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  13. never ever send cash or money orders to a foren company you have no protection at all and no way to recover your money there 30 day guarantee is useless.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I think I have just been scammed 100% I paid for a herbal treatment from new life herbal clinic in Johannesburg South Africa and it was shipped to me in India by fastlinkcourierservice who I already paid a considerable amount for customs duty and also a permit for permission to import 2 banned substances being Sceletium Tortuosum 3.5 grams and Opium Poppy 2.0 grams.These were part of the herbal formula supposedly to reverse COPD. New life Herbal Clinic's website is no longer available ans neither id fastlinkcourier service responding to my emails, so it does not look good from here. Rather sad I had high hopes. but also some reservations as well.

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  16. Just an update. Fastlinkcourier services was intouch with me last week informing me that my shippment would be delivered quite possibly today March 21 after the import permit was finally issued yesterday. But this morning I received another email from Fastlink now they want 9000 Rand, nearly $1000 Australian dollars for another permit from the South African Government! I'm giving up, my losses are now very high heading in the area of $3000 U S and I feel so stupid, to have put my faith in this. Please do not let common sense over rule thinking things out, save yourself heartache and loss.

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  17. Hi, I have been considering ordering from Green House Herbal Clinic in SA (http://www.greenhouseherbalclinic.com/) and doing research to check if it is genuine; sadly, it sounds exactly like some of you are reporting above as a scam. Someone called Robert also called me. Do you think it's the same people?

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    Replies
    1. Hi JSG, Yes I would say 100% that these are scammers I have also read elsewhere that Green House Herbal Clinic is a scam. I know we want to believe but the truth is that they are all scammers I'm afraid

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  18. Adam you are bogus.... I see you got cured from a few things. Shame on you preying on others.

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  19. Bless you for being real and exposing these scumbags
    ...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, it is amazing how persistent they are. I am constantly having to delete their bogus claims.

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  20. They will steal your last dollar and never feel a bit of remorse for what they've done to your hope

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  21. The best herbal clinic is a big scam. Do not settle down when you are desperate. The answer that the shipment is delivered is not true. In spam you get mail that you need to pay an additional sum. Everything is pure scam.

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  22. dr Linda. dr. Terrance, dr. Rosalia from BEST HERBAL CLINIC will yust stole your money.You will not get anything , they want more and more money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I almost believed Dr Linda's email that the herbal remedy would reverse the MS. I even tried to send money. So glad that it proved difficult and so I gave up. It would have cost £340! Don't believe these scammers.

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  23. Interesting that when I happened across this article this evening, I looked at the notes on my desk. The latest had just come in 2 days ago and was recommending Green House Herbal Clinic.com. As a COPD'er, I am desperate and had copied the web site info with the intent to contact them. Thanks for saving me from doing something that I knew better to believe in.

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    Replies
    1. I'm happy you were able to find the site, and that you found it helpful. If you are looking for suppleemts to help support your treatment, there are plenty of US supplement companies that can supply them at much less cost and higher quality than these off shore scams. Check with your team before taking anythinig though. You might be surprised at how some of the supplemts don't play well with your meds.

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  24. Now you have new lungs your ok. But before that did you look at Quercetin? There are recent scientific reports that it can reverse IPF in mice eg https://pulmonaryfibrosisnews.com/2018/08/21/quercetin-treatment-reduces-pulmonary-fibrosis-mouse-model-study/ And other good effects in COPD re abating inflammation and exacerbation ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not seen any scams attempting to sell IPF patients Quercetin, it is easily available over the counter. In mouse studies, this does look promising, but we are not mice. Also, Quercetin seems to interact with quite a few medications. Not at all something to be taken without consulting your team.

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  25. This blog is genuinely helpful to pass on upgraded enlightening endeavors over web which is really examination. I found one productive instance of this truth through this blog. I will use such information now. Ranju Verma

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi there,
    I am comsidering to buy herbal medicine from south africa with name of solution health herbal clinic, would ypu know if this is a scam? Also sorry to hear about your experience

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mr. Paracetamol. I took a moment to read your blog. From the topics that you write about, I'm fairly certain that you would consider any "Dr" who purported to be able to cast a spell on herbal "medicine" and cure pretty much anything to be a scammer.

      Delete
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