Who wouldn't like to become younger, thinner, healthier or live longer? Given that most people aspire to reach these goals, it is not surprising that medical quackery flourishes all over the world. Quackery is derived from the word quacksalver (a throwback to the days when traveling salesmen would boast about the healing powers of their salves).
People of all ages are fair game for those who sell unproven remedies. But sadly, older people form the largest group of victims. A government survey found that 60 percent of all victims of health care fraud are over the age of 65. Sometimes only money is wasted, but some unproven remedies may be harmful. And, sometimes, using these remedies may keep people from getting the professional medical treatment they need.