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Scammers are spoofing news sites to promote health products

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Scammers will do just about anything to rip you off. They will create fake websites, use fake endorsements from public figures, lie about the effectiveness of their products, and much more.

We did some investigating and found that a number of shady companies selling “brain booster” pills are using these exact tactics to promote their products. Here’s how:

They build spoofed websites that look like the news sites that we know and trust. The sites aren’t real news sites and the endorsements featured on the sites, often from figures like Stephen Hawking, Anderson Cooper and others, are fake. Representatives from Hawking and Cooper have confirmed that neither has endorsed any “brain booster” products.

The spoofed news sites link you to the sales page for the product, which allows you to place an order with a credit or debit card. The scammers may claim that the pills are proven to work — that you’ll experience an increase in concentration and memory recall by large percentages, but they lack evidence to support their claims. It’s a scam.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advises that you talk to your doctor to get the facts about health products before purchasing.

If you already paid money to a scammer with a credit or debit card, you may still be able to get your money back.

  • Call the card company immediately using the phone number found on your monthly statement
  • Alert them to the fraudulent charge right away
  • Ask if you are still eligible to get your money back
  • Ask if you should get a new card with a new number to prevent more fraudulent charges

For more tips, stay connected by subscribing to FTC alerts. And report scams to the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness


Thank you for this information, many seniors will be taken advantage by them & unfortunately your information won't be read by these seniors.

E mails I send to Phone calls. If I do not reconize the phone I do not answer. Yes, I am on the DO Not Call List. If the call is important, they will leave a number and a message. I have had solicitors who left voice messages before. I just let the phone ring. After a week all the solicitors call began to stop and I get only 1 or 2 calls a month.

A health company call me saying they would send me my nedical supplies dor free. But they wanted all thus unfo uncluding my S.S.#, and my phone #. That they just called me on I said I don't give out,that information they immediately wished me a good day and hung up.

Thank you. Those of us who are concerned about memory loss may very well fall for this.

Thanks informative

My wife says I can certainly use a "Brain Booster" but it probably would no work anyway.
I do appreciate your email alerts, Thanks...Terry

Thank God I did not fall for this.Alert to those who have please take heed to this alert and always google the company b4 purchasing.

I received a Microsoft warnjping about a virus on my computer with instructions to call a certain number. I also was told if I close down my computer that they would shut down my computer. I checked in with Microsoft and found out that it was a scam.

I also got the same 'virus' from a pop-up two months ago, and a 'Microsoft' agent/technician' who said they were from Utah, (with an East Indian accent). They wanted money from me and when I told them that I was on disability and couldn't pay them right then because I haven't been paid yet, he became upset and said he'd 'call me on the next week after I'd been paid'....I got his 'direct phone line',but I never called him back... then I took my computer to my local computer repair shop. The owner said that Microsoft does NOT have a direct line where you can call them, that ONLY the repair shops can call them if they need to. The repair shop owner advised me to change my passwords and ignore those scam popup windows on the PC. After $97.00, my PC was repaired and works fine. AND this company got me in Canada!!! I despise these creeps going after disabled people on a limited income! >:( (And the so-called 'Microsoft tech' never bothered to call me back. Gee, I wonder why not?)

Thank you

Great comment and alert. I hope the FTC will take legal action.

I've been receiving telephone calls from someone who says he works for Microsoft and needs access to my computer. I tell him that I fell for his scheme over a year ago and bought what I was told was a year's subscription for "protection" for the computer. That wasn't the case. I changed credit card numbers, and now hang up on him.

Ah ha! The REAL source of fake news and alternative facts.

How do I send a copy of letter for home employment. I just received. I am really in need of making extra legal employment. Not sure 10% is my pay

If this were done thru the mails, it would be a crime. So, why isn't it a crime to do it thru the Internet?


I'm sorry, we can't send email back to people. You can call the FTC and report what happened, but the FTC can't make phone calls for you. If you need local help, you could call your police department, or call the attorney general's office in your state.

This page lists the attorney generals in every state. You can find the number for your attorney general's office and call them for help. Some TV stations help people with consumer problems. This page lists TV stations that help.

Don't forget those seniors with companion pets. I have seen fish oil laced with marine biodiesel being offered for sale to those seniors whose only companion is a beloved dog or cat.

I play samurai-Sudoku everyday. I guess that help to keep your brain sharp.

Thank sir for report and security program of customer group llc

Has it happened to you yet ? Or are you Safe garing to keeping it so incase They are doing it with our #s? Let me know please. Ok.

I want to know about these Stupid Robots that call about Medicare. Since I am turning 65 in June they call and say ""I hear your going to have a birthday soon and your going to be able to begin Medicare. Have you heard about the Governments new Medicare Insurance" Well while their talking I'm trying to interrupt them and tell me I'm not interested but they keep on talking like I'm not even there. What can I do about them, should I copy all the numbers that call all day long and report them to you or what?

Go to and sign up for the service. It's free, and you won't get any more of those annoying calls. Legitimate robo calls, from your doctor, etc. will get through. I've had it for over a year, and it works great. The robo calls ring once, then get dumped so that you never have to answer. Good luck!

In the past week I have received an offer by phone for a free all inclusive night at any Hyatt hotel and, just today, an offer sent by Sprint for America Airlines AAdvantage miles. I also received the Brainbooster pills. Hard to tell what is real. Don't open anything. Check with company first an ask questions. Delete the offer then empty your trash.

Isn't there a way to eliminate or at least fine these people who put false items on the internet in the form of legitimate ads?

I consider all unsolicited emails (that I don't have a business relationship with writer) as SPAM and all unsolicited phone calls as scams. Also any Internet site that asks for shipping cost paid by me for a "free trial" is also a scam; they are asking me to pay for being added to their email sucker list.

A few years before I discovered this FTC site I got sucked into a "free trial" for teeth whitening, and almost sucked into a sale of medicine I take.

To ChattyLinda64 above: the Medicare people are scammers, and not worth communicating with. A better option is to get all your Medicare info from the US government Medicare site, which can be found from "". I too am a senior and already have Medicare.

In the past I usually didn't pay much attention to the web site of news articles I read, but now that's very important to me. This also goes for what I'm willing to believe on YouTube.

The stories about the recent problems at the Oroville Dam are a great example of how people twist the news; from damaged spillway (truth), to imminent dam failure (lies).

What will I say I haven’t any word to say? Just say one word incredible!

yesterday on 3/03/2017 I was the victim of a scam/fraud. Grrr! They go by different names...PCtechie, universal Driver update program, They crash your computer with a warning stating that your computer is compromised and all my info was being stolen. It stated that if you exit this warning and turn off your computer, my computer will crash and become unusable. I called the 1-800-4671909. Yes, the hacked me!

I have been trying to find someone to refinancemy home for two years and because I don't have the best credit know one will help me.they all say they can and won't and all Iwantis my home with a lower payment.

Scamfraud17, can do Ctr/Alt/delete and shut the program from Task manager. These people need to go to jail. The horrible scary loud sounds when u try to close the screen is stressful to say the least. And the health insurance robo callers call whether you are on do not call or not daily from different area codes to fool you to answer . Why can't we stop this ?

I received a friend request from a Bruce Urie. I thought he was a former coworker I had not known well. He connected me with a Bobby Brown about a grant. He immediatly E-Mailed me asking Questions then he told me I was approved. I started questioning Bruce. the email ended. They were able to cut out the Bobby Brown converstion. He was sending me an application. Bruce then asked about my bank account. How much money I had. I saidnone and that was the end.

Coal Anti Aging and Coal Eyecare are both scams. They offer trial samples for small amount (and teeny bottles) and pay shipping. Then about 2 weeks later you see a charge for almost $90 from one company, identified on stmt as FOS*LoreCure, and 2 weeks later another for 89.69 (note the reversed numbers in the charges) from a company named CSI*Kulroot. I called on the first and was told I failed to call and cancel, so the full price was charged. I.E. IF I had called to cancel, I would have only paid what was promised instead of full price for a teeny jar. "Joey" said he could refund 75% of cost of both to me, but that was all, but it may take 30 days. I will be going straight to my bank in the morning. I have learned my lesson!!!

We had the same experience as Karen Hall with CSI Kulroot and related charges to our credit card by Fiercebod after my wife agreed to pay only the shipping charge for a sample of Coal Moistuzing cream in January, 2017. Since then monthly charges of $89.69 and $86.96 respectively have been made to our credit card until I called A St. Petersburg, FL, 800 number supplied by my credit card statement. They would only speak with my wife who had agreed to the sample. We never agreed to additional shipments. They said we had to "cancel automatic shipments" and would only refund on product sent within the last 30 days. I had to contact the credit card company to block any further debits to our card and try to dispute the charges.

Please help the FTC by reporting this at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.


QuGenix Face or eye care creams use deceptive Free Offers for their products on Internet News Sites such as Fox News. The site had Christie Brinkley name associated with the product. They offered a free trial for shipping charges of $3.95 and $4.95. I did not select the eye care product and it was still added to my bill. They subsequently charged my account $89.71 for the face cream and $$89.77 for the eye care cream fourteen days after ordering the product. I called their customer service to dispute the charge and they indicated I should have read the terms and condition. I indicated I did not recall and information on the web site that indicated to read the terms and condition. I later found the word "Term" at the bottom of 3 pages. They refused to credit my account. This is a SCAM.

You can help the FTC by reporting this at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Are the claims of what Protandim does false and also the only way to purchase is thru an agent.

I got a bill for $94.00 from SITE4HEALTH but, I can't even get it on the Internet. I don't even know what it is. So I'm on my way to the bank for a new card.

I would like to be able to back track a spoofed phone number so I can report them

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