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Phony Cures for Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition. Treatments are available from health care professionals. But scammers also are out there pushing phony cures. If a product is advertised as effective for treating ED, and no prescription is necessary, it’s not a cure. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your physician before you begin any treatment.

What Ads for Phony ED Treatments Say

Medical advances in treating erectile dysfunction (ED) have opened the floodgates for bogus treatments. These treatments not only are a waste of money, but also could contain harmful ingredients.

Here are some common claims scammers make about bogus products:

You don’t need a prescription.

If a product is advertised as effective for treating ED and no prescription is necessary, forget it. It won't cure the condition.

It’s a "breakthrough."

Check with a doctor or other health professional who can tell you if the product is legitimate and whether it's a medical breakthrough.

It’s endorsed by a "medical organization."

Phony clinics and sham institutes may be behind those endorsements.

It’s scientifically proven.

If a product claims there's "scientific proof" that it reverses ED in a high percentage of patients, check it out with your doctor. Some claims that “clinical studies” prove a product's effectiveness are overblown and don't stand up to scientific standards.

It’s all natural.

Does the product claim to be “herbal” or “all natural”? To date, no “herbal” or “all natural” substance has been shown to be an effective treatment for ED.

Hidden Ingredients Could Be Harmful

Phony cures for ED are not only a waste of money — they also can contain harmful ingredients.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even products labeled as “all-natural” alternatives to FDA-approved treatments may be tainted with prescription drugs or other undisclosed ingredients. That could lead to serious side effects or dangerous interactions with other drugs you’re taking.

Report Spam

Forward unwanted or deceptive messages to:

  • your email provider. At the top of the message, state that you're complaining about being spammed. Some email services include buttons you can click to mark messages as junk mail or report spam.
  • the sender's email provider, if you can tell who it is. Most web mail providers and ISPs want to cut off spammers who abuse their systems. Again, make sure to include the entire spam email and say that you're complaining about spam.

The FTC is working to keep your inbox clear of spam. In the past, the FTC asked you to help by forwarding the spam you received. Now, the FTC collects spam by using a honeypot, which is an online trap. This change makes it more efficient for the FTC to collect spam that is deceptive or illegal, saving tax dollars and your time.

If you lost money to a scam that started with an email, please report it at

Read more about how to limit spam, phone calls, and mail.