Competition Bureau tackles online cancer fraud

The Competition Bureau recently launched Project False Hope, aimed at targeting online cancer-related health fraud and raising public awareness. Under this initiative dozens of Canadian-operated Web sites that offer cancer-related products that raise concerns under the Competition Act have been uncovered, according to the bureau.

Andrea Rosen, acting deputy commissioner with the Competition Bureau said that consumers should be sceptical of health-related products or services that look too good to be true, and should always speak to a health care professional before trying any new treatment.

“Swindling people living with cancer is one of the most despicable forms of fraud,” said Rosen in a released statement.

The bureau said that they have developed two interactive Web tools to help consumers protect themselves from online fraud.

The Health Fraud Awareness Quiz tests knowledge of scam tactics, with true or false statements such as “Natural remedies must be safe”. The second tool, Anatomy of an Online Health Scam educates consumers on methods used in selling fake cancer cures or treatments online.

According to the bureau, 92 per cent of the identified sites have complied with their demand to modify or remove the claims at issue, but that many similar sites still remain.

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