The Valkee swindle is a health fraud scam from Finland. The company Valkee Oy sells a simple set of two LED earplugs, a timer and a rechargeable battery for EUR200. They claim that this "light headset" cures a multitude of symptoms and diseases, like migraine, jet lag, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in nearly all cases.
Other scams of this kind, like magnet therapy or zappers, simply claim to have wonder effects. Valkee instead produced a profound pool of pseudoscience, junk studies and fabricated results. Mimicking true research, they were able to deceive the media in Finland and abroad. Although completely meeting all criteria of a classic scam, it was even promoted by ill-advised politicians. The company, posing as a health tech start-up, attracted private investors, and considerable amounts of money got burned.
On the other hand, the Valkee case is also exceptional because studies showed that the device does not work. As per August 2013, inefficacy was demonstrated for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and an effect in jet lag has been ruled out.
It took 1,5 years before the Valkee swindle was busted in 2012 in Finland. Having lost their home market, Valkee is trying elsewhere to trick people into buying this expensive toy. Their scheme is still protected by the language barrier. This website is analyzing the facts of the Valkee swindle, and publishes files and documents from the investigation that ended Valkee's campaign in Finland.
Last updated: Nov 11, 2013. Look. Placebo-controlled trial coming up