Have you received an email offering you a revolutionary treatment to restore lost hearing? How about an ancient Navajo remedy to solve the problem? Here’s the short version: those emails are a scam. Read on to get the details as to why I say that.
Hearing loss is nothing to joke about. It’s more difficult to diagnose and treat than loss of vision. Vision is the most obvious sense we have, but when someone’s hearing declines, it affects our quality of life, not our ability to survive. We might be embarrassed to talk about the problem and many react by telling others to speak up, turn up the volume on the TV, or compensate in any other number of obnoxious ways. Thus, hearing loss may be “diagnosed” only by those close to the affected person.
Treatment is the other problem with hearing loss. Where it might cost a few hundred dollars for a new pair of glasses or contacts, a new set of hearing aids costs thousands. With a record number of senior citizens who may be in need of ways to improve their hearing, opportunity is knocking on email marketers’ doors. And it’s knocking loudly.
Here’s a snippet from one of the recent emails making the rounds: “WebMD) There is new light for people with hearing loss. The researchers from University of Washington’s Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center discovered that they can reverse major hearing-loss In as little as 14 days using a unique at-home method.” As is their normal pattern, the scammers have taken the truth and twisted it so far out of shape it’s unrecognizable. Here are the facts:
- There appears to be no reference on the WebMD site having to do with this research facility.
- The research being done is testing on animals. Scientists hope the testing will eventually lead them to clinical trials to treat hearing loss. That, however, could still be years away. Note that research on this was being done more than a decade ago and there’s no cure yet.
- The link for the “protocol” cited brings us to the “aha” moment for this hearing-loss email—websites touting the “Ancient Navajo Medicine Man remedy.”
Just like the revolutionary cures to improve vision, this is another example of someone hawking a product. The product gains credibility thanks to a practice known as affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing lets the man behind this “revolutionary cure,” Ben Carter, get paid for every sale while his army of marketers offer testimonials and their version of proof about how the product will restore hearing loss in two weeks.
Would I spend my money on this? No way. I recommend you save your money. When you’re ready to confront the problem, talk to a professional audiologist, not someone who spams you with emails you didn’t ask for.