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December 12, 2012

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Seniors told to watch out for health care scams

USELESS health products draw large amounts of complaints from seniors, local authorities said yesterday as they launched a campaign to warn seniors to be vigilant about useless tonics and bogus medical apparatuses.

"Free tourism packages, free meals and free service like blood pressure tests are some of the most widely used scams, and seniors will be asked to leave their contact after they 'swallow the bait,' " said Zhong Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau.

The Shanghai Consumer Protection Commission said it received 384 complaints regarding tonics sold in the city in the first 11 months of this year.

A local senior surnamed Qin and her husband spent nearly 120,000 yuan (US$19,354) buying tonics said to help prevent and treat cancers over the past 10 years, but she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer recently.


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