Duped patients crowdfund for bogus medical care, study says

May 08, 2018 - 11:00 am

CHICAGO (AP) — New research suggests duped patients sometimes use crowdfunding websites to pay for bogus stem cell treatments in campaigns that end up benefiting only the providers.

The study focused on for-profit clinics claiming bogus benefits from stem-cell treatments for lung disease, Parkinson's disease and other ailments. The study found patients who believe the hype sometimes inadvertently spread the exaggerated claims when they seek funds online.

During four months last year, there were 408 pleas involving stem cell treatment on GoFundMe and another site it recently acquired. The campaigns got pledges for nearly $1.5 million from 13,050 donors.

The study was published Tuesday in the American Medical Association.

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