Spammy, phony weight loss promises

You get an email from a friend, with a link and a message: “Hi! Oprah says it’s excellent!” But did your friend really send this message? And what’s so excellent?

Millions of people got emails like this one, but not from their friends. Image Instead, according to the FTC, marketers hired by Sale Slash sent spam emails from hacked email and social media accounts. Why? To trick people into thinking the messages came from a friend. And, of course, to sell stuff.

The links in the messages led to fake news sites promoting Sale Slash’s weight loss products. Everything about the news sites was fake. Endorsements from Oprah and The Doctors’ TV show? Fictitious. Reviews from news reporters? Phony. Testimonials from people with dramatic weight loss stories from using diet pills? Bogus.

Also false, according to the FTC? Claims that Sale Slash’s products would help people “melt away” extensive amounts of belly fat without diet or exercise. Just not true.

So here’s the skinny:

  • Even emails that seem to be from a friend might not be. Stop and check before you click any links or open any attachments.
  • Just because it looks like a celebrity or news reporter endorses a product, that doesn’t make it true. And it doesn’t mean that the product really works.
  • Anyone who claims you can lose more than a pound a week without diet and exercise is probably lying.

Comments

I got this email more times than I can count. I also knew that my friends contact lists were sabotaged because I click on details before I do anything with a suspicious email. But I'm glad you got to the bottom of this because I'm so sick of that email.

Thank you for your debunking advice

I think of the thousands of desperate people who are getting scammed by this activity and it makes me ill. Deception and misinformation, all for a buck. You can't even believe Dr. Oz anymore, let alone Oprah.

The latest TV scam is "Lipozine". Totally bogus claims. Why won't TV stations filter this crap before allowing it on their stations? O, wait- - - -$$$$$$$$!

Yah so what can I do about it?!?!?!

Articles on the FTC's weight loss & fitness page will help you evaluate weight loss and fitness claims before you buy products or services that claim to make it fast or easy to slim down or shape up.

I've gotten these unwanted emails about the "AS SEEN ON TV ITEMS" that can not be bought in stores. (NOT TRUE). I've blocked the senders and they send more in a different email address. I have 10 each day. How can they be stopped? I do not and have never order from them.

My mother falls for these scams all the time - not only for weight loss, but many other email and online scams as well. If I could ban her from using the internet, I most certainly would so she doesn't get duped out of her money. Whenever possible, I tell her to please send me the link or email if she is thinking of buying something so I can check it out first.

I ordered a "free" sample of Garcinia Cambogia through these scam artist. I had to pay shipping and a small fee of approximately $10.00 in late March. I threw the stuff in the trash. I got my credit card statement and on April 4 they had charged my credit card almost $200.00 because I didn't cancel within the 14 days trial period. How many people read the fine print. I called Citi Bank and protested the charges. Citibank's rep set up a three way call with Buywellonline and they basically said to shove it and I had to pay the $200.00 charge. The person to whom we were talking did offer to give me a 25% reduction on the charge. I basically told him to shove his 25%. I'm hoping Citibank realizes that this operation is a scam and they shouldn't be doing business with these people. I'm waiting now to see if Citibank flexes their muscle and charges this back to Buywellonline. DON'T DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE.

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. We appreciate your blog comment because it helps warn other people about this scam, but it’s not a formal complaint.

Pages

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.