United States Special Senate Committee on Aging
Hearing on Swindlers, Hucksters and Snake Oil Salesmen:
The Hype and Hope of Marketing Anti-Aging Products to Seniors
September 10, 2001
Chairman Breaux’s Tips on How to
Avoid Fraudulent “Anti-Aging” Products
- If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
- Listen carefully to what is being advertised.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the product. Find out exactly what it should do for you and what it shouldn’t.
- Research a product thoroughly before buying it. Call the Better Business Bureau to find out if people have complained about the product.
- Watch out for so-called “Secret Formulas” or “Breakthroughs of the Century.”
- Be wary of products that purport to cure a wide variety of illnesses (particularly serious ones) that don’t appear to be related.
- Testimonials and/or celebrity endorsements are often misleading and sometimes are simply fabricated by the product’s manufacturer.
- Be very careful of products that are marketed as having no side effects. This is a hard promise to make and an even harder one to live up to.
- Products that are advertised as making visits to a physician unnecessary should be questioned.
- Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary or nutritional supplement.
- Always tell your doctor about any dietary or nutritional supplements you are taking prior to surgery.