74

Actually I'm rather asking for clarification about this one, honest. On the one hand, the ad itself isn't that inappropriate, on the other hand, it advocates a new kind of treatment with zero side effects, supposedly proven results, etc. Which kind of screams "scam" in my head. Not entirely sure how to check ("swiss medica" scam on Google yields different results, possibly fake ones).

My heart says scam, but if such an ad is considered appropriate on Stack Exchange, I'd like some clarification about why.

stem cells ad

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=CSYRxWAamXYzWN8nA1waAz5HoBtfN2dBYk5CEuMYJrI7E1q0XEAEg1amBK2D7oe6C9AmgAZaDwsoDyAEJqQK5EzwT1tWwPuACAKgDAcgDmwSqBKACT9BQOO2NojSZpR26P0mZf8C3UAClxV0MWZgaM9gv2CYn98gzcYgUkYYrvGhuN5l8pfqqRxDJ_vqEmYGepI5atjjVG6yIza3ioB8Uv4toEhqURd36-gmt7DT86JSZQvd0iHK6CKOXWNoLYljqncShj4SXuSnN7KTYY7gt5tN4EQLVkGc0y_Wcjx3N2KOiS2qb2qMFgkeahOJOnTahZFs7XsrpGkVi_d8SNjaZkOM7fhYJ1zfeuqz3LTwJsDhU3tGCYEqzBtLUOlFAdyLN13ukzSZUsx_mi29bILiPBPZ8AX0cywcrNu6YBoqsZSELQ7gsS0UYYTMqZI96SKcPt3kxhuoGpEZShzUrGCa28tS_reEDpcDchFUJ5vS5ZYV9tdX54AQBoAYugAfS_L01qAeOzhuoB9XJG6gHwdMbqAeF1BuoB4HUG6gHgtQbqAeG1BuoB4TUG6gHk9gbqAfg0xuoB7oGqAfZyxuoB8_MG6gHpr4bqAfz0RuoB-zVG9gHANIICQiA4YAQEAEYHfIIG2FkeC1zdWJzeW4tNTk5OTk1OTE2MTY1OTgyMbEJdbQByyg3HjyACgPYEwKIFAc&num=1&cid=CAASEuRoX0dw415i8qfX7YbiqDr4lw&sig=AOD64_1DdAlD1aLBl1IbZk2Z-qbgmgFpvw&client=ca-pub-2024690810381654&adurl=http://swissmedica.startstemcells.com/lp4/%3Futm_source%3DGoogleAds%26utm_medium%3DGDN_artilleria%26utm_campaign%3DSC-keywords-audience(new)%26utm_content%3D356360923362%26utm_term%3D%26Placement%3Dbiology.stackexchange.com&nx=94&ny=200&mb=2
  • 7
    How are you getting all these? O.o – Zoe Oct 15 at 18:21
  • 7
    One easy rule, if someone claims to be able to cure a large number of very different diseases like Alzheimers, MS, Diabetes and many more, like the page here does, it's almost certainly a scam. – Mad Scientist Oct 15 at 19:02
  • 2
    At this point i'm afraid that if I upvote you any more they're gonna get cleared because i'm mass upvoting you... Here's another +1 regardless. – remy_rm Oct 15 at 19:38
  • 3
    @Zoethetransgirl mostly refreshing a lot and opening questions at random. The reasoning being that if I get one inappropriate ad every couple dozen questions, then roughly one user per couple dozen, opening a random Stack Exchange question (except SO, which is on different ads provide I think?), is exposed to an inappropriate ad. Which isn't great... – Jenayah Oct 15 at 20:21
  • 2
    You can ask on skeptics :-) – Sklivvz Oct 15 at 20:40
  • 2
    Let's see if Sean Bave can do better than 18h this time tick tock – Sklivvz Oct 15 at 20:41
  • 2
    This is the worst kind of medical scam. An appeal to hope for the potentially hopeless. Stem cells have potential but are curative for a very few medical problems yet. It's kinda like treating cancer with coffee enemas (Steve McQueen/Mexico). – anongoodnurse Oct 16 at 4:52
  • 2
    @Sklivvz time's up. No news. Better luck next time? – Jenayah Oct 16 at 20:01
28

Very High probability that it's a scam.

https://swissmedica.startstemcells.com is the one linked to in Googeladds URL.

  • The domain registration runs out on 6th of December this year:

Registrar URL: http://tucowsdomains.com

Updated Date:2018-11-06T13:21:33

Creation Date: 2012-12-06T11:37:05

Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-12-06T11:37:05

This is not conclusive evidence, but is suggestive that the company's (website's original registrant's that is) not planning ahead and may be lax about web security. Ripe for a hack.

  • If you request a page that the server doesn't like it returns an answer in Russian:

По данному адресу ничего не найдено. Попробуйте воспользоваться поиском.

(Not Swiss). Why would a Swiss company use a Russian Web interface?

Again, highly suggestive.

  • Further:

The "Legitimate" Swiss-Medica website appears to be: https://www.mstreatment-europe.com/contact.html which has a much-longer ongoing registration.

Any word in inverted commas in the above sentence is to be read aloud in a very sarcastic tone.

  • Further/2

https://swissmedica.org/ is another one. The phone numbers are different in each of the cases. It reeks of international scam to me.

  • Unless someone is prepared to pay me to dig further, I suggest that everybody makes their own mind up.
  • 1
    I really wouldn't use the word "legitimate" here, stem cell clinics are an inherently dubious segment, and there is generally no scientific evidence the treatments work at all. – Mad Scientist Oct 15 at 19:05
  • @MadScientist Edited to add tone. – We are Monica. Oct 15 at 19:14
  • I propose "official" in place of "legitimate" – John Dvorak Oct 15 at 19:38
  • @011358smell I can pay you a single upvote? – remy_rm Oct 15 at 19:46
  • @JohnDvorak I'm not convinced about official either ,if we have a Swiss speaker here (French or the other one), or someone who's prepared to trawl the Swiss chamber of commerce using a translation program... I'd be prepared to substitute "another scam-candidate". Anyone asked the Swiss government recently about Russian holdings there? – We are Monica. Oct 15 at 19:47
  • @MadScientist, not all stem-cell therapies are snake oil. If they're offering to treat blood disorders and nothing else, there's a reasonable chance they're legitimate. – Mark Oct 15 at 19:58
  • @remy_rm No, no, I'm fairly certain that you could create a fake e-mail address and a new account, and also up-vote me from that. Or several. A gold badge would be nice ;) Since tone doesn't translate here - I'm joking - it needs to be explicit stated. Just trying to keep it light. – We are Monica. Oct 15 at 20:12
  • Nice, bunch of tips I didn't know about. – Jenayah Oct 16 at 6:28
19

Take these as you wish:

In Switzerland, investigations led in recent months by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic) led to authorities to ban two clinics, Med Cell Europe and Swiss Medica, from offering these treatments, and to identification of Intercare as a brokering service. While Stem Cell Europe has ceased all activity in Switzerland, Swiss Medica continues to recruit patients in its premises in Saint Gall, whence they are sent to affiliated centers in Serbia or Russia to undergo treatments banned in Switzerland. — Source

and this Quora post.

No conclusive articles by any major news organizations from what I can tell so it definitely seems shady and shouldn't be shown.


On a side note, road to 10k is looking more and more promising..

  • 1
    Our answers just about cover it. Synergy is a beautiful thing. +1 – We are Monica. Oct 15 at 20:07

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