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Old 01-05-2018, 10:04 PM   #1
PartyGirlUK
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Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Mum has a medium level non life threatening ailment thus far uncured by "traditional" (evidence based) medicine and to my shock has started seeing an "alternative" (bull****) homeopathist. She and my dad were genuinely surprised when I flipped my nut and told them it was all a bunch of bull****. I think they're under the impression that science views homeopathy as something that "might be true" rather than "a big steaming pile of ****".

My dad is stubborn but maybe somewhat persuadable but my mum is a different kettle of fish. Part of the problem is she (like most people) doesn't like the idea that's she done something dumb. What's the saying - convincing people they've been conned is harder than conning them? And she loves this conwoman/homeopathist, mum is convinced she's a great judge of character and stated this homeopathist's "qualifications" which include working as a drugs counsellor in a U.S hospital (which makes her medically qualified ofc) & certification from the British Homeopathic Association which is ofc is a big deal because it required training and exams and whatnot.

To give you an idea of what we're dealing with - this quack diagnosed my mum with low levels of Vitamin D. Via a blood test? No. She asked my mum to hold out her hand and said if it shaked in a particular way when the homeopathist applied pressure it meant my mum had low Vitamin D. And it shaked. How could the homeopathist know it was going to shake? Exactly Dean! Checkmate.

So I asked my mum why the low Vitamin D had never shown up in a previous blood test & she said the tests might not have looked at Vitamin D levels which is fair. Her doctor is phoning her this week in regards to some recent results. Mum agreed she should ask the doctor's opinion on homeopathy. Great. I asked if she'd accepted the doctor's opinion of, say, "Homeopathy is bull****. Don't spend another pound on that utter crap" and the answer was non-committal. It's very, very clear that she *wants* to trust the quack. She'd be sad to find out it's a bunch of bull****.

At this point my mum is just in for two hours of homeopathy ("She gives you two hours, you can't get that with a doctor!") at a cost of Ł85 + maybe a little extra on pills? Mum agreed to give it six weeks but she really, really want to believe in his bull**** & of course I'm sure the mountebank is well practiced in con artistry & we'll find out the treatment is "just starting to work" in six weeks time and it will just be another six weeks to see what we need to do next and she'll recommend trying a different combination of pills - no obligation because they're more expensive and it's definitely not a con, but you do need to try these to be sure - and so on. Add in placebo effect + confirmation bias ("I do feel a little better...") and it's easy to see how this could get very expensive.

I absolutely rage at the thought of some quack/scumbag taking advantage of my preternaturally honest and ethical parents. Grr.

I'll contact my brother and see what he says. But I'm not confident. My mum wants to believe & if she's desperate and actual medicine isn't helping "there's nothing to lose" is a seductive call.

Do any of you have any prior experience with your parents getting taking in by a quack/conman??? What should I do?
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:15 PM   #2
Larry Legend
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

I only skimmed for now but low levels of vitamin D are potentially true for almost everyone.

Seems like a decent vitamin to pick for the scam but maybe coincidental.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:20 PM   #3
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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I only skimmed for now but low levels of vitamin D are potentially true for almost everyone.

Seems like a decent vitamin to pick for the scam but maybe coincidental.
Look, I'm sure diagnosing a Polish Jew with Vitamin D deficiency in the middle of winter was based completely on solid medical testing and not a ****ing grift.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:21 PM   #4
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

There might be something about the way this woman interacts with your mother which is at least somewhat "therapeutic" for your mother, at least with respect to her peace of mind.

Consequently, if she can afford this "treatment," and nothing legitimate has helped her so far, I might take a "wait and see" attitude for the next couple of months.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

People don't go to homeopathic practitioners because the treatments work. People go to homeopathic practitioners because they're nice and warm and friendly and chit chat with them for 2 hours, which doctors can't and won't do.

Your mother is paying for an emotional soother, not a doctor. The whole medicine thing is just an excuse because she's probly too embarrassed to admit that she's lonely enough to want to pay someone to make her feel warm and cared for in a way that real doctors don't.

Olds gonna old. No reason to be upset about it. It's not your money anyway. Or are you mad because she's spending your inheritance?
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:25 PM   #6
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Obviously homeopathy is garbage and nobody should waste their money on it. That said, if she's also getting actual evidence-based treatment and that's not helping, or not helping enough, and this is making her feel subjectively better, what's the harm if your parents can afford it? Ł85 for two hours of talking to someone isn't a bad deal. I hate that governments sanction crap like this (homeopathy is part of the NHS ffs, and I think your future King is big into profiting off fake medicine), but if someone's getting a placebo effect from some sham treatment they think is great, I try to keep my mouth shut and let them enjoy it, unless it's on the internet, in which case I have to prove them wrong.

Last edited by gregorio; 01-05-2018 at 10:33 PM. Reason: cool, dropped homeopathy this year
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:26 PM   #7
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

If she can afford it and it's not doing her any harm, leave her to it. That's my approach to my mother doing acupuncture.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:31 PM   #8
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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If she can afford it and it's not doing her any harm, leave her to it. That's my approach to my mother doing acupuncture.
How often do your mom do acupuncture and how easily can she afford it?
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:48 PM   #9
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Acupuncturists are the worst, they really stick it to you.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:52 PM   #10
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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How often do your mom do acupuncture and how easily can she afford it?
I don't know how often she goes, but she can definitely afford it. She has an incurable, degenerative neurological condition and she's always reaching out for something, trying this, exploring that. Most of it doesn't help her at all, but it gives her something to focus on and makes her feel like she has some control over her life. As long as it's not harming her, I don't worry about whatever it is she's doing because doing pointless things seems better for her than doing nothing.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:12 PM   #11
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Unless your mom is gravely ill just let it go. Don't see the big deal otherwise.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:36 PM   #12
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Cons are very popular in the UK and homeopathist scams are among the most popular because they fit the structure of what is needed,mainly desperation. A desperate person will believe literally anything that makes them calm.

These guys usually ask for exorbitant amount of money for a final treatment after getting plenty in continual treatments. As a medical professional myself, homeopathy is such a joke it does not deserve it's own word. Tell your mom to take an Anatomy and Physiology class.


Had my parents both trusting and somewhat senile in their 70's get conned by home refinance scam artist.It was a disaster to fix. Contact police,they might talk sense into her.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:44 PM   #13
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Her money, her life.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:54 PM   #14
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Quote:
Her doctor is phoning her this week in regards to some recent results. Mum agreed she should ask the doctor's opinion on homeopathy.
I'd be weary about this Doctor's opinion. This is like asking the CEO of McDonalds for his opinion about Wendy's.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:56 PM   #15
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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Originally Posted by zikzak View Post
If she can afford it and it's not doing her any harm, leave her to it. That's my approach to my mother doing acupuncture.
Unlike acupuncture I can see these "treatment" cost getting out of hand quickly.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:18 AM   #16
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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Acupuncturists are the worst, they really stick it to you.
Piercing observation.
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:51 AM   #17
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

i'm pretty aggressively anti giving these con-men money. my dad died years ago and my aunt shipped us a bottle of coral calcium in the mail and even now i'm still pretty pissed that she probably paid 50 bucks for a bottle of garbage juice. it's disgusting that people get rich/entire careers are made from what amounts to scams and people just say "oh it's not hurting anyone" like millions/billions of dollars flowing into this stuff is no big deal.

that said - getting through to people about stuff like this is hard. it's like talking to a conspiracy theorist. the harder you go at them the more resolved they'll be in their belief. provide her with evidence that she's wrong in any way you can, but ultimately she needs to come around on her own.
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:59 AM   #18
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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Piercing observation.
You shouldn't needle him.

OP, google the crap out of this person, and name of the company she's part of, if any. If she's a real crook, it's probably not her first time and there could be news articles, etc. Verify the certifications she's claiming with the organizations that issued the certifications. What you're trying to do is catch her in a lie.

Vitamin D deficiency can be real. I know because my blood test showed it. But pills are cheap and you can get them at Walmart. Make sure she gets the blood test though so she knows how much to take.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:01 AM   #19
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Depends a little on someones financial situation as far as impact, but this person/conman would ruin your moms life without a thought.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:27 AM   #20
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Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Pg,

She prob got this quack recommended when she posted about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PartyGirlUK’s Mum View Post
Guys - I have a medium level non life threatening ailment thus far uncured by "traditional" (evidence based) medicine. Not anything that’s going to kill me, but I’d like the option of some medicine to treat this. What's the best way to find out what kind of medicines I need & the best way to get them?
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:12 AM   #21
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

If it’s not life-threatening or life-altering, let her do it. You voiced your concern and that may be enough for them to reconsider. Or maybe the placebo of it all will help her feel better. If she has cancer or some other serious disease, I would be more vocal against it all but respect that your parents are adults capable of making their own decisions about their lives.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:14 AM   #22
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Your mom is a moron. My parents are morons too. Nothing you say will work. Lots of Europeans blindly believe in homeopathy and eastern medicine and blindly hate GMOs. Most ppl are morons. This homeopath is human garbage.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:31 AM   #23
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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Your mom is a moron. My parents are morons too. Nothing you say will work. Lots of Europeans blindly believe in homeopathy and eastern medicine and blindly hate GMOs. Most ppl are morons. This homeopath is human garbage.
Wait, what? That's Americans.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:42 AM   #24
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

Dude Asian medicine in Europe goes back to, like, Marco Polo. European Union bans GMOs. Superstitious bull**** is in every country, especially old countries.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:23 AM   #25
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Re: Parents getting scammed by a conwoman ("homeopathist"), anything I can do?

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Originally Posted by zikzak View Post
I don't know how often she goes, but she can definitely afford it. She has an incurable, degenerative neurological condition and she's always reaching out for something, trying this, exploring that. Most of it doesn't help her at all, but it gives her something to focus on and makes her feel like she has some control over her life. As long as it's not harming her, I don't worry about whatever it is she's doing because doing pointless things seems better for her than doing nothing.
This was the exact situation for my mother before she passed away with cerebral ataxia.

Initially I felt the same way as OP but the situation becomes way more complex once you take into account how the ill person feels.

Even if you manage to talk her out of it, it'll always just be in the back of her mind that not only did you stop her from finding a "cure", but you don't even think the relatively small amount of money (of each session, I know it adds up and I know it's not small) is worth her health even if the odds are against her.
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