There probably isn’t a spam mailbox in the universe that doesn’t contain an email claiming to be from Dr. Oz touting some health product. It is like an electronic plague. The Dr. Oz in question is Dr. Mehmet Oz, a physician who has used his television show to educate the public about medical and health issues. Some of his positions are controversial, but generally he offers sound and informed advice. However, his shows (he’s done over 800 of them) have raised public awareness about some products that spammers have seized upon to sell. But the one ailment that the good doctor has been unable to cure is the plague-like proliferation of spam “Oz-mails” bearing his name.
The Dr. Oz Show has produced over 800 shows in five seasons that bring new actionable information that the spammers can deploy immediately. Items mentioned on the “The Dr. Oz Show’s” resulted in the emails that pitch green coffee bean extract, raspberry ketones and garcinia cambogia, among others. Similarly ubiquitous banner ads featuring Dr. Oz endorsements have saturated the Internet,on sites like Facebook, Google, Amazon and YouTube targeting consumers with misleading advertising for products that may have been mentioned on the show.
The Dr. has posted a webpage explaining that he is not sending, endorsing or profiting from these illicit emails. His name and likeness are being used against his wishes. But because most of the spammers operate outside of the U.S., he (and the government authorities) are helpless to put an end to the onslaught. Still, he recommends that submit a brief report on the spam email. Of course, we all receive so many of these Oz-mails that reporting everyone is a bit overwhelming.
The important thing to know is that when you receive an Oz-mail is that he hasn’t sent it, hasn’t endorsed it and, according to the doctor, he has no financial interest in any of the products or treatments that he discusses in his show. We would certainly hope that to be the case, as it would create potential conflicts of interest.
The bad news is that there are few, if any, feasible treatments to help reduce the Oz-mail onslaught that accumulates in our spamboxes. One thing you can do is to create a filter in your email program/server and have all emails containing “Dr. Oz” redirected directly to your trash. Some email services also allow you to block emails based upon content. This is a bit more complex, but may be worth trying. Ultimately, Oz-mails are like germs. If you use good Internet hygiene and avoid them….like the plague….., you should be safe.