Chinese Health Check
How the scam works:
You are on vacation in Beijing (or any other Chinese town) and enjoying a day-tour of the city. Your group was taken to the tomb of Emperor Yongle, then to the Great Wall, and now you are ready for your next destination.
In between, the bus tour stops for a well-deserved break. It just happens to be at a health store.
While inside, everybody looks around and a few people might pick up a couple of items. The tour guide introduces you to a famous Chinese doctor who just happens to be in the shop.
After a few friendly words back and forth, you find the man pretty amazing and inspirational. He knows a lot about traditional medicine and he’ll tell you how he met Bono.
Long story short, he will do you a favor and give you a free consultation on the spot. Analyzing your retina, your deep breath, and taking your pulse, the master tells you that you have some problems with your kidney and with your blood pressure. “If you don’t take care of it soon, you might not be able to travel anymore”.
Surprised, but somehow convinced, you might ask him what he’s suggesting you should take. That’s when the scam happens. He will show you a few TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) items – plant roots, herbs, and leaves – that will clean your system and give you amazing energy and strength in a couple of months. “You won’t find anything like it in your country”, says the old wise man.
The bill? $120. When it comes to your health, it’s totally worth it, right? Not in this case.
How to avoid:
Don’t think you were lucky to discover the symptoms early. You were the unfortunate one to be picked for a scam out of the whole tour. Not only will the medicine not help fix something you probably don’t have anyway, but it is also overpriced, probably by 10 times as much.
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