First, you want to make a finer distinction, between the well-intentioned by nonetheless worthless content online, and genuinely willful scams.
The well-intentioned usually fall into the Bates method category. Bates was an early 20th century practitioner who found a workable solution to deal with pseudo myopia. Unfortunately most myopia today is of the lens-induced, progressive sort, so Bates practices don’t apply. Sites that promote Bates usually don’t have the training or education to fully understand the underlying biology that they are trying to repair. Because of that, while often well-intentioned, these types of approaches tend to fail for most people.
Well-intentioned sites are often not easy to assess, since they can have a loyal following and strong supporters. The best way to tell is to understand the basic premises of myopia yourself (the two stages, ciliary vs lens-induced, strain, axial elongation, etc). With that, you can look at their premise and get an idea of whether a) they know what they are talking about and b) whether their method deals with real causes in a meaningful way.
Does it sound hoakey? Are words like “eye exercises” and “palming” used? Do they advocate eye vitamins, use a bunch of pseudo science terminology?
Then it’s probably not going to do anything for you.
Scams are much easier to tell. Here is what you want to be looking for:
1) Does the site have a slick sales letter? If you are scrolling and scrolling through testimonials and promises and “but wait there is more”, and “special promo pricing”, then it’s almost certainly going to be a scam. How many legitimate services use a sales letter? None. Click out of those things.
2) E-mail collectors. If the first thing you see is a pitch to get your e-mail, it’s going to be a scam.
3) Appealing to your inner greed. If the pitch sounds like something you really wish to be true (because it sounds so quick and easy), then it’s probably a scam. “Fix your eyes in your sleep”, or “the #1 secret to better eyes”, or “fix your eyes in 30 days”, that’s always, forever going to be a scam.
4) Eye vitamins. If you see the words “eye” and “vitamins” anywhere in the same paragraph, click away. It’s a scam.
5) Mailing you products. There is zero need for a product. Usually the product is tied to some complicated return policy and refund policy. You need to return the product to get a refund, and they count on you not doing that. If there’ s a product involved, it’s probably a scam.
6) No community. If there is no way to tell on the site that the creators are active and participating in the dialog, if you can’t tell what customers are saying, if everything is shrouded in mystery and sales, you know what … it’s probably a scam.
7) The biggest scam of all – doctor promoted products. Ortho-k and the whole ilk. Yes, they work (sort of, temporarily) and yes, they are promoted by a large network of real ophthalmologists. Again though, you are being sold a product, and it doesn’t in any way address the root cause of myopia. It’s legit but it’s still a scam.
8) The payment method. This is a bit of an insider trick. Payment processors that accept shady businesses (adult entertainment, internet pharmacies, etc), are hard to get your money back from. If they payment processor isn’t clear, avoid the site. If it is, Google it. If they advertise “high risk payment processing”, run. Those outfits you’ll never get your money back from.
Instead, look for legit payment processor. As much as Paypal isn’t so amazing in many ways, it’s a good payment processor If you complain to Paypal, you get a refund. If you complain to American Express, you get a refund. If you complain to Square, you get a refund. If you complain to some shady payment processor, you’ll possibly get nothing.
Let us know when you find scams. We’ll make an effort to put together a scam-directory of sorts, at some point. Scams hurt everybody, not least of all the guys who legitimately want to help you recover your eyesight.