Saturday, August 5, 2017

National Reply Center

Yesterday, I received a rather innocuous letter in my mailbox. There was no name of sender for the return address, which was given simply as:
123-B Sunrise Center Dr.
Thomasville, NC 27360
The exterior of the envelope mentioned a "Free Walmart© Gift Certificate To Senior Citizens Ages 50 to 80", which set-off some alarm bells for me because such offers are typically part of a scam. But, having little else to do, I opened the envelope and had a look at the contents.

Inside, I found a yellow card which said:
"2017 Benefit Information for Hawaii Citizens Only

You may qualify for a state-regulated program to pay for your final expenses regardless of your medical condition, even if you have been turned down before.

It is important you know how to qualify for this benefit available to you. This benefit will pay for 100% of all funeral expenses up to $35,000. This payment is tax-free for Hawaii residents. You are entitled to receive no-cost information as a resident of Hawaii.

IMPORTANT - Return this postage-paid card within 5 days and receive a FREE WALMART© GIFT CARD."

I was given this address to which I would mail the card in order to claim my Walmart card:
National Reply Center
PO Box 46715
Greensboro, NC 27499-3876
 
So, the return address is in Thomasville, NC in Davidson County, but the address given for me to send back the card is in Greensboro, NC in Guilford County. These two cities are about 25 miles apart. While the Thomasville address is a real building address, the Greensboro address is a Post Office box, which is typical for junk-mailers who want to avoid getting packages of dog shit delivered to their own home or office from people angry about getting this kind of stuff in their mail. The postmark is from Greensboro. 

The sender appears to a company called Leads 2 Success, which specializes in bulk mailing on behalf of insurance companies who are looking for new customers. I can only assume that they got my current home address by purchasing it from other companies with whom I have done business in the past, so there's nothing illegal going-on here. While they are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, that agency did give them a B- rating. The BBB page for Leads 2 Success lists two complaints posted by people who had received letters similar mine, but none from insurance companies who are Leads 2 Success clients. Leads 2 Success also has a Yelp page which does have comments posted by people with whom they've done business.

In regards to the "National Reply Center' in Greensboro. The Better Business Bureau gives them an F rating, which tells me something right away. This is NOT a company with whom you should do business or trust with your personal information. There are complaints going back several years against these people, as far back as 2006! The website ComplaintsBoard.com has a long list of posts from people angry about receiving unsolicited mail from National Reply Center and some of these complaints are rather unsettling, with people reporting that they had sent the card back with the requested information and someone actually came to their home in an attempt to sell them insurance!

These people seem to be very suspicious and more than a little dishonest. According to this report, National Reply Center used to have its mailing address - another Post Office box - out of Indianapolis, where they also received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau in Indiana. In fact, they've used Post Office boxes as their sole means of receiving replies for as long as I can see, ranging from Indiana, to Missouri, to North Carolina and perhaps others. They've switched from using one PO box to another in the same city, possibly in response to receiving angry letters from people who had received their junk mail.

Locating the exact physical location of the PO box wasn't difficult, I was able to find it here:
GREENSBORO POST OFFICE
201 N MURROW BLVD
GREENSBORO, NC 27401

But, don't think that solves your problems. Even knowing the physical address of the PO box doesn't tell you who owns it. While getting the location was easy, finding-out who registered it is very difficult. In order to get the name and physical address of the people who registered it, you'd need to initiate some sort of legal action against them in the courts. You may wish to call the post office in Greensboro at 336-668-1375 with your complaint or try the US Postal Service's Customer Service at 800-275-8777 if contacting the Greensboro Post Office doesn't work well for you.

This may be interesting to you: Haberstroh Insurance Agency (doing business as National Reply Center) was fined by the Social Security Administration and you can read the story for more information. According to the Better Business Bureau website, National Reply Center used several Post Office box addresses while in the area of Bridgeton, MO which is also where Haberstroh is located. I've read variant accounts of this story, with the linked article indicating that National Rely Center was the dba of Haberstroh, while another story stated that Haberstroh was working with NRC. I have no idea if Haberstroh is still associated with National Reply Center.

Even the gift cards being offered seem to vary with the location of the recipient. While I and others received a Walmart gift card offer, other people received an offer for a McDonalds gift card. Despite the promise stated in the mailing, the actual value in US dollars of the gift card is never mentioned. So, National Reply Center could actually send you a gift card worth $1 or less and they wouldn't have actually lied to you, but I haven't seen any reports from anyone stating that they actually received the promised gift card.

I'm going to contact the Greensboro Post Office on Monday about this. If that doesn't work out for me, I may take it upstairs to the US Postmaster General. If neither of those gives me the results I want, I do have other options which I will explain in updates to this blog.


Duane Browning


Saturday, May 6, 2017

I Got a Call from 757-302-5667

 A few days ago, my voicemail recorded this message that was obviously sent from a robo-caller:
“Hi this is Bob I'm following up with you regarding the business opportunity um my number is 757-302-5667 we did want to get a hold of you to make sure that you're aware there is an expiration date on the products and services that we provide and we want to get you involved right away today please give me a call at 757-302-5667"
Not knowing who "Bob" is, but immediately realizing that he was full of shit, I called him back using a burner phone I keep for such occasions and heard this recorded message. I transcribed it as best as I could, but "Bob's" delivery is rather amateurish:
"Thank you for your interest in our business opportunity!

This is a twenty year old established, international company that launched an FDA registered patented medical device with impressive endorsements and massive R and D research behind it in North America.

It's already being used in over 4000 hospitals and clinics in Europe and this product is loaded with credibility and sales are destined to explode in the United States in a short period of time.

Part-time, full-time and regional management opportunities are available and there's already staggering incomes being generated.

With over one million units sold overseas markets, with less than a .08% return rate - that's less than 1% - and mind-blowing results, you cannot miss with this opportunity.

We want you. You've listened to our messages, you've heard what we've had to say, but now it's your turn to leave your name, your phone number and a brief message and we will contact you in a short period of time.

Again, leave your name and phone number and we'll contact you in a short period of time.

There's over a thousand brand-name athletes calling this revolutionary patented medical device 'their secret weapon' and we want you to sell it for us. NASA just signed a collaboration contract to use this technology in their space suits.

To receive a private invitation to our next upcoming webinar, please respond. By leaving your name and phone number and you can leave your email address and we will send you a link to that webinar.

Again, leave your name, phone number and email address and we'll get right back to you."

This sounded like just another multi-level marketing scheme making its way around the Internet. What drew my interest in it was the noted lack of details regarding what the product is or even the name of the company behind it all. If you're trying to sell a product or trying to recruit others to sell it for you, details like those would likely be the first things you'd share. The only way for me to get that information is to give them my name, phone number and email address, which they could then sell to other multi-level marketers who might want to contact me in the future.

Not wanting to sit and wait for specifics to come from these people, I put my Googling Skillz to work.

It wasn't long before I learned that the company behind the intrusion into my voicemail is called BEMER.

I found this Craigslist ad seeking people to sell it and the text of the ad reads very closely to the speech given at the number I called. Like the recorded messages, the ad does not identify the company or tell us what the product does, though it does refer to their product as being a type of "electroceutical", which I guess means that it uses electrical pulses as a form of physical therapy, though the method isn't specified.

I kept looking and soon found this Facebook post which also read like the recorded messages and the Craigslist post. Looking through the timeline of Hugo Natural Health Center, I found repeated references to BEMER. In fact, Hugo Natural Health Center is quite evangelical about it. I decided to look at this to see if I had found this mysterious "electroceutical" device Bob was talking about.

Going to the American website for this company, it seems legitimate enough and they do encourage you to check PubMed for scientific studies that validate that their product does provide medical relief for users. Trying to actually find these studies in the search results is a bit challenging, due to the number of people named "Bemer", but you can find them, as few as they are.

But, most non-scientists don't know how to properly read a paper from a scientific journal and may be overwhelmed by the repeated use of scientific terminology. So, while interesting, they don't really give laymen much information with which to make an educated judgement on whether or not they might want to sell these products. If you have a friend or relative with an education in medicine, then you could have them look the papers over for you. Otherwise, you're out of your league.

It would be interesting to have a scientist with appropriate background look through those studies and provide their observations in terms a layman would be able to understand. I tried my best, but the only parts I hoped to fathom were the Conclusions, which usually include the words "more studies are needed" somewhere in the text. 

But, let's look at it from an angle we can all relate to: why would BEMER want to take an average person, without the background education needed to actually understand how and why the product works, to go out and try to sell them? Promises of "staggering incomes" may entice some people into it, only to discover that they were in over their heads and trying to sell something they actually know very little about.

Seriously, how am I go to sell something that I don't even understand? I don't understand auto mechanics either, so I wouldn't make a good car salesman. BEMER is looking for people to sell a medical device who probably don't even have a basic understanding of medical technology!

And these products are expensive, ranging anywhere from $4,290 for the Classic Set to $5,990 to the Pro Set, putting it out of range for most people. I still remember those home gyms people were buying in the 80s and 90s, with the big price tags that people used once or twice before putting it in storage to gather dust. BEMER has competitors selling similar products that are much cheaper, though I'm not claiming those products are as good or better.

What about what BEMER says about itself, apart from all the claims of benefits for users of its products? Well, to discover the answer to that question, you practically have to dig through the website for the answer, because it is buried deep, deep, fucking deep where most people would have a hard time even finding it.

You have to go to this page, scroll to the bottom and click on "Terms and Conditions" where a pop-up displays the "BEMER USA, LLC., Customer Terms & Conditions (USA)". 
First, look at section 8 "Customer/Ibd Responsibility and Waiver and Consent", subsections 3 and 4:
3. I understand the product(s) purchased from BEMER are not intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, cure, or mitigation of any specific disease.
4. I acknowledge that BEMER does not practice medicine.
I assume that an IBD is an Independent BEMER Distributor.


Then, go down to section 9 "Disclaimer: Health Related Information" and you will see this:
The BEMER Pro-Set and BEMER Classic-Set are an FDA registered medical device class 1. All information presented by BEMER is intended to be used for educational and/or informational purposes only. BEMER products are in no way a substitute for professional medical care. There are no health benefit claims being made concerning BEMER products. Statements made have not been evaluated by the FDA or other governmental agencies and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions or diseases. All testimonials express the opinion and experiences of customers, IBD and not that of BEMER. The word therapy used herein is not used to refer to any medical therapy but to general non-medical therapy, e.g., aroma therapy or exercise therapy. Do not use the information for diagnosing or treating any health problems or diseases. Please consult with your own physician or healthcare practitioner if you have medical concerns.
 So, there it is, BEMER itself admits that their products aren't meant as a treatment for any particular disease or physical ailment, regardless of what their sales representatives tell you.

"But, wait!", you might be saying now "What about their contract with NASA?".

What about it? NASA has contracts with a lot of companies and BEMER doesn't provide any specifics about what their supposed "contract" involves. Here's a site that discuses this supposed "agreement" in detail and you can look over the homepage at your leisure.

As far as the the thousand athletes calling this thing their "secret weapon"? Obviously, it's not much of a secret if a thousand people are talking about it. Besides, the names of the athletes aren't provided, so who cares?

If BEMER is going to claim that over 4000 hospitals and clinics in Europe are using their product, how about providing us with the names of these institutions, so that they can be contacted and this claim verified?

As the Internet often says: Pics or it didn't happen.


In Conclusion

The whole sales pitch I heard from "Bob" sounded just like the kind of bullshit I've heard from people trying to lure me into selling Herbalife: make big money, high tech, lots of credibility, blah, blah, blah.

Real medical technology companies don't take John Q Citizen off the street and get him selling their products to friends and family. No, they send their representatives to companies and organizations that run hospitals and laboratories to show them their product and its documentation. Those companies and organizations then look over the data and make the decisions whether or not to sign a contract.

That's how it's done in Real Life.


Duane Browning

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Is Samir Chachoua For Real?

Samir "Sam" Chachoua has been a topic of conversation ever since Charlie Sheen visited Chachoua's clinic in Mexico in a search a cure to his HIV infection. He received another boost in visibility when he was a guest on Bill Mahers "Real Time" in 2016.

I'm not going to discuss Dr Chachoua's claims that he actually offers a cure for AIDS, cancer, etc because that has already been done by people with actual medical expertise. Neither will I discuss Chachoua's claim that he rid Comoros of HIV, which he didn't.

No, I'm going to discuss some of the claims that Sam Chachoua has made about himself that make my Bullshit Detector go off.

The Life and Background of Dr Samir Chachoua

First, trying to get any specific details about Samir Chachoua himself is quite difficult, since he reveals very little about himself. What little is said about his early life is only that which he or his supporters mention in efforts to make him look like the greatest medical genius who ever lived.

What can be established without a doubt is that Dr Samir Chachoua graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Bachelor of Surgery (BS) from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1984. In Australia, these two degrees are always awarded together and they are the equivalent of receiving an MD in the United States. So, yes, he does have a medical degree. As far as the claim that he graduated "with honors", there is no documented evidence that this is true. It might be true or it might not. However, his registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency expired in October 2016, so he cannot practice medicine in Australia until he renews it.

In fact, a person claiming to be Dr Chachoua's biographer claimed that Sam obtained his degree at the age of eighteen, without providing evidence that this is true. Samir Chachoua doesn't even make the list of people who received doctorate degrees at a very young age. The youngest person to ever receive his medical degree is Balamurali Ambati who graduated at the age of seventeen, though he didn't actually complete his education until twenty-four. Even if Samir Chachoua did receive his medical degree at 18, it really wouldn't mean anything, since his medical training was still incomplete. No information is given regarding where Chachoua did his internship or residency, so even having his diploma doesn't mean that his education was complete.

Samir Chachoua has mentioned that his inspiration that led him to go into medicine was seeing his father die of multiple myeloma. However, his father's name is never given and neither is his mother's. His father was only identified by his profession as an oncologist. The only specific information about his family history is that he's part-Mexican and speaks Spanish fluently, which is apparently one reason why he opened a clinic in Mexico.

Although it doesn't matter in regards to his personal credibility, the name "Chachoua" is actually an Algerian name and most people with that surname live in either Algeria or France. His registration with the AHPRA indicates that he speaks Arabic and Hebrew, but no mention is made of him being fluent in Spanish.
What is never mentioned is how Sam is able to operate a clinic in Mexico. His MB/BS came from an Australian university, not a Mexican one and there is a complicated procedure for medical doctors with foreign degrees to come to Mexico and practice medicine. Neither Chachoua nor his supporters mention how he received approval to operate a clinic. If he didn't go through the procedures laid-out by the Mexican authorities and opened a clinic anyway, then he could be operating the clinic illegally.

We are even left in the dark about Dr Samir Chachoua's age. You would think that would be a big deal, but Chachoua doesn't even tell people how old he is. However, a website article published in 2001 gave his age as being forty. Assuming that the article wasn't rounding-up, that would mean Sam Chachoua was born in/around the year 1961.

But, that presents a problem, since his AHPRA listing indicates that he received his degree in 1984, when he would have been 23, not age 18 as his supposed biographer claims.
A Dead Man Walking?

There have been repeated claims that Dr Chachoua was the intended target of a car bomb attack. However, the date and location of this supposed attack has never been given. We are simply supposed to take his word for it. If the bombing occurred in Mexico over the past few years, it could simply have been a part of the Mexican government's ongoing war with the drug cartels, with Chachoua having been in the vicinity of the attack without his actually being the intended target. But, that's just a guess on my part because we're not told when or where the alleged bombing took place.

When I asked for the specific dates and locations of these supposed attempts on Dr Chachoua's life, David responded by blocking me. It's also rather funny that, despite David's claim to be Dr Chachoua's biographer, he isn't one of the people Chachoua follows on Twitter.

That's just the most outrageous claim put forward by Chachoua and his supporters: that his goat milk treatment is so dangerous to the profit margins of Big Pharma that they've actually tried to have him killed. I guess these people really aren't too savvy about how professional hitmen operate. In the current environment of Mexico's war with the cartels, it would be child's play to have had Chachoua killed, if Darth Pharma really wanted it done. Even if Big Pharma didn't want to hire a cartel enforcer, there are plenty of people out there who could have done the job and it wouldn't have been very expensive.

So, unless someone is going to provide me with actual evidence that Chachoua has, in fact, been the intended target of three attempts on his life, I'll judge this claim to be Total Bullshit!

In fairness, a news report did surface in June 2015, where Dr Chachoua accused Charlie Sheen of hiring some men to beat him up. Reading through the story, I was amazed at how these supposed hired thugs would be so incompetent to send text messages to their boss using Chachoua's cell phone and then to leave the cell phone behind when they got away. The police report filed with the Mexican authorities is available at this link. There's so much about the news report that smacks of fakery, in my opinion. But, in the interest of fairness, I mention it here.

When you think about it, it doesn't really make sense for anyone to try to kill Samir Chachoua. After all, his "treatment" is rather expensive, according what I've read, which puts it out of the reach of most people. Instead, you'd think that the evil drug companies would be bumping-off faith healers. Faith healers still cost a lot of people money, but not as much as Sam could. When Peter Popoff was out there claiming to heal people of all sorts of ailments, why didn't Big Pharma have him killed?

I'll tell you why: you have as much of a chance of getting cured by Peter Popoff as you do by Samir Chachoua, which is none.

Moving on.

Martyred by the Legal System?

Dr Chachoua and his supporters like to claim the Chachoua did not succeed in his legal case against Cedar-Sinai because of judicial corruption and the use of violence against Dr Chachoua himself.
While I do not have access to the case file for Chachoua's lawsuit against Cedar-Sinai, there is a way to find out how the judge came to her decision to dismiss the case. Sam was later sued by one of the attorneys who had represented him in that case. Dr Chahchoua seemed to play musical chairs with his attorneys, which is a tactic sometimes employed in court cases in an effort to cause the case to drag on longer than it really requires. In civil cases, it's sometimes a tool used to cause the opposing party to have to spend more money on their own legal representatives, in the hopes that they may decide to cut their financial losses and settle the case. If that's what Chachoua was planning, it didn't succeed.

Chachoua's former attorney, Jean Marie Hansen, sued Chachoua over legal fees, which Sam refused to pay. Since lawyers expect to be paid for their services, she took him to court. The following in excerpted from the "Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgement as to Complaint and Denying as Moot Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Counterclaim" from pages five and six in Hansen's case against Chachoua. The words "the California action" in the quotation below refer to Chachoua's unsuccessful case against Cedar-Sinai:
As Judge Morrow stated in denying Chachoua’s motion to reconsider her dismissal of the California action, the central reasons why the action was dismissed were:
[Chachoua’s] consistent refusal to comply with court orders regarding representation; his pattern of using medical excuses as a device to prolong the action unnecessarily, avoid appearances for deposition or other court proceedings, and obtain continuances at the last minute; and his pattern of substituting counsel in order to secure deadline extensions or continuances of potentially dispositive proceedings.
See Pl.’s Mot. for Default Judgment Ex. A at 11.  Reading the Ninth Circuit’s opinion,
Judge Morrow’s decisions in the California case, and the transcript of the  proceedings on
November 13, 2001, when Judge Morrow dismissed the action based on Chachoua’s failure to appear for the second trial, the Court is struck by how similar Chachoua’s dilatory tactics and manipulation of the judicial system have been in that action and the matter pending before this Court.
In case you haven't guessed, Chachoua also lost the case against Hansen.


Where's the Paper Trail?

When attempting to judge whether a scientist, including medical doctors, really know what they're talking about, a good way to determine that is to see how often they have published research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Publication, by itself, isn't always a good meter to use; it's also important to see how many other researchers in their field have cited their papers in subsequent publications.

As far as I can tell, Dr Samir Chachoua hasn't had any research papers published in peer-reviewed journals, which automatically makes me doubt if he really has the medical chops to backup his claims. On a now-defunct website, apparently created by Chachoua to answer his critics, he claims to have published scientific papers in various journals. In response to a claim by Stephen Barrett, M.D. that Chachoua has never published, Chachoua said this:
1.) Your claim that I have never published.
I published at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, PRECIS and other articles you may not have found on the Internet.
The names that follow mine and yes, I was 17 when it was presented for review and a year older when it was published. The names that follow mine were and are the biggest in cancer research and the institutes: The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne University, Peter McCallum Cancer Institute and The Walter Eliza-Hall Institutes are the Australian equivalent of the MAYO Clinic or UCLA, and they are internationally known Institutes where my work was done.
If Dr Sam was going to claim to have published papers in science journals, it would have been nice if he had given the specific dates when his papers saw the light of day, as well as the names of the journals in which they were printed. Just throwing names out there doesn't count as proof; I'd like to know specifics.

Let's clear something up regarding scientific papers published in peer-review journals:
Initially getting the paper published is just the first hurdle. The paper is reviewed by other researchers in that specific field before it ever goes into print. If it get published, it will subsequently be read by other researchers in that field who will then conduct their own research in an effort to either confirm its findings or to refute them. Scientists conducting experiments is related field may even cite this paper in order to backup claims in the own studies.

So, if Chachoua got his papers published, what was the reaction from the general scientific community? Did they conduct their own studies and confirm them or did their research reveal Chachoua's findings were completely wrong? We won't know until Sam tells us which journals published his findings and when they did so.

Just getting published in a journal isn't automatic evidence that you're right. After all, well-known fraud Andrew Wakefield got published and the medical researchers ended-up tearing him a new asshole.

Validation by Social Media

Instead of telling us where his medical research was published in peer review journals, Dr Chachoua uses his Twitter account and YouTube channel to provide us with patient testimonials to validate his claims.

Patient testimonials are completely useless for validating any sort of research. You could have thousands of people claiming that they were cured of some disease by Dr Chachoua and it wouldn't mean anything unless the claims could be validated and replicated in a controlled experiment. You could find as many people claiming to have been cured by a faith healer and it wouldn't make it true either.

Chachoua's use of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook is simply a lazy way for him to advertise himself. His website http://drsamchachoua.com/ is still active, though it doesn't seem to get as much attention as his social media accounts and the website http://watchingthequackwatchers.com which was created specifically to answer claims by Quackwatch has recently been suspended, for reasons unknown.

I also need to mention that both drsamchachoua.com and watchingthequackwatchers.com are registered anonymously.

In Bed with Multi-Level Marketers?

At the bottom of Samir Chachoua's main website, you see this:
Site Owner: Jeunesse Institute MRF Corporation
5Ta Avenida 5-55 Ciudad de Guatemala, 01014
Guatemala, Centro America
Contact: Dr. E. Alves – Director

So, who is Jeunesse Institute MRF Corporation? They are a corporation registered in Panama. I gave a link above to a lawsuit where Samir Chachoua and the Jeunesse Institute were co-defendants with others in a fraud case that was filed in 2008, stemming from someone actually dying while undergoing an allegedly Chachoua-advocated "treatment". Other defendants in the case include Jeunesse Cosmetics Company Pty. LTD., Jeunesse Foundation, Jeunesse Global Holdings, Jeunesse Institute and Jeunesse Trust.

So, what kind of company is Jeunesse? A medical research company that's a leading force in the latest scientific breakthroughs?

Don't be a silly goose! They're a cosmetics company.

Yeah, a company that sells skin care products via multi-level marketing is running Samir Chachoua's website. Think about that.

Okay, what about that address, 5Ta Avenida 5-55 Ciudad de Guatemala, 01014? Well, Jeunesse doesn't seem to have an office at the business plaza located there, so they're either using another business' address as their own or it's a mail box. Not exactly a confidence-booster, is it?

Not Even China Will Copy It

The Chinese are notorious for copying Western-designed products. Whether it's electronics, toys, motor vehicles, clothes, whatever product is known to work and is in demand, China will copy it and then sell it.

Western companies, including such juggernauts as Apple and Microsoft, have been mostly unsuccessful in stopping the production of copycat products in China. A Western corporation is almost entirely powerless against an unsympathetic Chinese government and legal system.

So, let's say, for the sake of argument, that Dr Sam Chachoua's scheme actually works. Okay? Let's pretend it does, just for shits and giggles.

If it works, then why haven't the Chinese copied it? Seriously, they can copy anything else, almost exactly, why not copy Chachoua's treatment program, if it worked? It's not like Sam Chachoua could stop them; he couldn't even win a court case against Cedar-Sinai or even his former attorney. So, how could he possibly prevail against the Chinese government? The Chinese judges, on the payroll of the Chinese Communist Party, would laugh Sam out of court. Then, they'd start selling treatments to anyone with money to pay and the willingness to travel to China. Imagine how much money China could make providing the treatment to ailing foreigners, as well as their own citizens with life-threatening diseases.

But, they haven't copied him and I doubt they ever will. The reason is obvious: Sam Chachoua's system doesn't work and the Chinese government isn't going to invest the time and money to copy his bullshit program.

When your product is too crappy for even the Chinese to steal and copy, it's a sign that your product is worthless.

Final Thoughts

I'll keep doing more research as time allows, but I don't know what else I could add to all this.

Here is an encapsulation of my observations regarding Dr Samir "Sam" Chachoua:
  1. he deliberately keeps us in the dark about his personal, educational and professional background;
  2. his medical claims are not supported by medical science;
  3. he makes unsubstantiated claims about attempts on his life;
  4. he falsely claims to be the victim of a corrupt legal system in the United States, when it's obvious that he lost the cases against Cedar-Sinai and Jean Marie Hansen due entirely to his own actions;
  5. he has submitted no research papers to the peer-review journals for his medical colleagues to examine;
  6. he relies heavily upon social media to broadcast his message in an attempt to lure desperate people to seek treatment from him, rather than by developing his reputation by professional research and affiliation;
  7. he is linked to a multi-level marketing company that sells skincare products, rather than a hospital, university or medical research company;
  8. his treatment program is so useless that even China won't steal and copy it.
I've lost numerous relatives to cancer. I've seen the pain, suffering and fear that they endured. The available medical science of the time did what it could for them. While it could prolong their lives, ultimately, it couldn't save them.

With that said, I have nothing but contempt for people who offer fake cures, not only for cancer, but also for diabetes, AIDS and numerous other diseases and conditions.

Until Dr Samir Chachoua can scientifically demonstrate that his claims are true and will provide more information about his experience and qualifications, I'm going to side with QuackWatch on this clown.


Duane Browning

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Persistent Dr Williams

While no one has posted in my blog's comment sections on behalf of "Dr Okosun" in a long time, there have been numerous posts for "Dr Williams", all of which have been deleted and will continue to be deleted.

I have to say that I am stunned at the sheer number of posts for Dr Williams, not only on my blog, but on blogs and websites all over the Internet. No other scammer has posted so many times on my blog. Even after I delete posts that make it through my filters, a new post is often attempted within a day or two. I've already blocked several profiles from posting in my comments section, but it appears that this particular set of scammers has many hijacked Google+ profiles under their control. Even the profiles that have posted for other scammer "herbal doctors" are utilizing hijacked profiles whose only current function is attempting to swindle the gullible.

The following is typical of posts that I and others have received:
ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS WITH HIS HERB I WAS CURED FROM A TERRIBLE TINNITUS.
. Is my pleasure to comment on this site and i thank the admin of this site for his/her great work so far. I really don’t know how to thank DR WILLIAMS for helping me get cured for over 20 year of suffering from a terrible tinnitus, my tinnitus started when i turns 10 we all thought is going to end one day but even get worse as days went by,i have tried all western drugs prescribed by doctors but to no avail i lost total concentration, even at night i screams even more because the sounds become louder because everywhere is quiet. i came across DR WILLIAMS contact through a headline news on internet about how DR WILLIAMS have help so many people to get cured of tinnitus and so many other with similar body problem ,i contacted him and he told me how to get his herb,few day later he sent me the herbal portion which i take every morning for 21 days, and his medicine was able to restore me back to normal and now am very okay without any side effects whatsoever If you have Tinnitus, you can contact him on his email address drwilliams098765@gmail.com for help
Having my curiosity sufficiently aroused, I decided to contact Dr Williams to see what his gimmick might be, assuming that it would simply be more like Dr Okosun, but with a different name. Overall, he's similar, but there are some differences which I will share.

Using a spare email account under a pseudonym, I sent a short message to him and claimed that I suffered from diabetes. Within a day, he sent this reply:
Well thanks for the information you have provided me with, this will help me understand your condition better.I am an herbal doctor from Indian right now am in Singapore to sell my product, and i am provide a final and permanent cure to diabetes using herbal treatment methods. Where i employ herbal medicine is where Western medicine has failed and in this your case i would strongly recommend you use this herbal medicine and be free forever. I have been using this herbal medicine for over 3 decades now and its been from one success to the other, that is why you got to even know about me. I do not know if you believe in herbal medicine? But if you do that will be easier so you can be okay soon and be free from this bondage Which country are you from. how old are you
He writes under the name "Itua Williams". Now, "Itua" is an African name, not an Indian one and is often seen among Nigerians. Why he would use an obviously African name, while claiming to be an Indian living in Singapore seemed unlikely and I assumed he was lying about where he lives. I replied to this email that I live in the United States and I gave him a fictitious age. Shortly after I sent it, he replied:
like i said in my previous mail i have a medicine that can cure you permanently from diabetes whatsoever be the symptoms as far as it has to do with the body cells, this medicine is herbal and it is liquid in form, it has a natural taste (it is not bitter or slimy nor any offensive odor) the best part of it all is that it has no side effects whatsoever.
My herbal medicine is 100% effective in the treatment of diabetes like it treated the person who might have told you. My medicine works in a special way by reviving the damage made to the  cells in the pancreas and also works in the muscle tone too, by and in a special way which i call herbogenesis repair the damage made to the insulin.
You are expected to use the medicine for 21 days which is three weeks and within that three weeks you take the medicine once a day after eating in the morning. Before the end of the 21 days (3 weeks) you will already start seeing and experiencing results and to confirm it all you can see your doctor for final confirmation.

REGARDS
 I sent another reply, but didn't disclose any real information about myself. He soon sent this:
I trust my medicine and i give 100% money back guarantee and assurance that after using it you will be fine and perfectly okay without anything to worry about as regards your diabetes . This medicine is a one time medicine that needs no repetition over time because it gives a permanent cure to diabetes . Once you use it now that is final for life you are cured. What i do believe is in action and that is why i will say a trial will definitely convince and cure you. 

You can simply get the medicine delivered to you by placing and order through me by simply sending your full postal address where you want the medicine delivered to and you will get the medicine between 1-7 working days so you can start using it. 

The only problem i think you might be having is that the medicine is quite expensive and it costs $480 USD but if you can afford it and use it, you will be glad you did and might even be the one referring those with similar conditions to me for treatment. Health is wealth. If you wish to place an order for the herbal medicine let me know so i tell you on how to go about it.

Be rest assured that your cure awaits you. If you are confused about anything or you have any questions feel free to ask now we are friends and i will make out time out of my busy schedule to answer you.
 
I await your reply soonest and i look forward to helping you so this problem of yours can be a thing of the past.

Kind Regards
I sent a another reply, asking how the "medicine" would be delivered. As in the Okosun case, I wanted to see if he would list specific herbs. Any agricultural products (e.g. herbs, fruits, vegetables, etc) would likely be stopped by US Customs at the border. I was never under any illusion that he would ever send anything, but I was just curious. He sent this:
don't worry about the shipments it we be sent through dhl or USPS delivery service.

when you are ready to get it I we send you the account details that you are going to use for the transfer.
With most scammers, payments would be sent via Western Union, which has worked well for scammers in the past. In recent years, they have begun to abandon Western Union for other means of money transfers, such as iTunes gift cards. My curiosity about how he wanted the money sent was soon answered:
you make the transfer through this bank details
Name: Ng Poo Hong
Name of BANK: DBS SAVING PLUS
ACCOUNT NO: 0231037187
COUNTRY:singapore
address:    29 new upper changi road #04-772
SWIFT COD:  DBSSSGSG

when exactly are you making the deposit let me start making preparation of the delivering.
So, my assumption of him lying about being in Singapore was incorrect, unless he really is an African with a Singaporean co-conspirator who accepts the payments in exchange for a cut and then "Dr Williams" would receive his share later via a separate money transfer. It seems that the scammers are getting smarter about how they receive their ill-gotten gains, especially since Western Union has come under increasing pressure to prevent their service from being used by scammers. A simple bank transfer is relatively quick and the monies can swiftly be transferred to yet another account, never again to be seen by the victim. 

The given address of 29 New Upper Changi Road #04-772 is a real location in Singapore and a quick Google search reveals the name of a business that occupies it as Cyber Engineering (M&E) PTE. Ltd. and the address is current, as of January 2017. I have been unable to find any information regarding who owns this company, its telephone number or even what the company does.

I have no idea how common a name like "Ng Poo Hong" may be in Singapore, so attempting to locate this individual seems like a waste of time.

However, the bank mentioned, DBS Saving Plus, is a real financial institution. But, reporting these scammers to the bank may be fruitless, as I'd have to prove that they are violating Singaporean laws.

So, "Dr Williams" is a likely African scammer, posing as an Indian and using a Singaporean bank.

That's about it.


Duane Browning

Thursday, January 19, 2017

NoiseAway.com

In my earlier blog about Tinnitus Terminator, I mentioned that one of the sites had been closed and was now being redirected to a new site, called NoiseAway.com which was also registered anonymously out of Panama.

Since there was no content on NoiseAway.com when I first noticed it, I decided to put-off doing a blog about it until it actually amounted to something.

Recently, the people behind NoiseAway.com have built the site up with some content for me to examine, so I can get started.

The main page presents us with a video, supposedly narrated by a man calling himself "David Smith" and I lifted this picture from the video.