If you’re looking for help with chronic pain, you might come across over-the-counter devices promising powerful, drug-free relief. But sometimes device marketers make claims that are not backed by scientific evidence.
A case in point: The FTC’s settlement with the company marketing a low-level light therapy (LLLT) device called Willow Curve. According to the FTC, Willow Curve’s ads claimed it was an FDA-approved, “clinically proven” treatment for chronic, severe pain and inflammation from serious conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, shingles, and bone fractures. But the FTC says the company lacks the scientific evidence to support these claims – and that Willow Curve is not FDA-approved.
The FTC says the company also advertised risk-free, money-back guarantees for Willow Curve -- implying that people who returned the device would get a full refund. But some costs and fees were not refundable and the process for getting a refund was difficult, according to the FTC. As a result, the FTC says, many people got no refund at all or waited a year or more to get any money back.
Protect yourself by following these tips:
- Talk to your doctor’s office before you use any healthcare product, even if it claims to be FDA cleared or approved. Your healthcare professional knows your health history and knows about the right treatments for your condition.
- If any product guarantees miracle results, it may be a scam. Do not give them your money or your personal information – including your contact information, health background or bank account or card numbers.
- If you experience or hear about a health product scam or misleading advertising, report it to the FTC.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
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