"1 Tip For a Tiny Belly" Ad on Internet is a Scam, Obviously

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The advertisement to the right, which everyone who uses the internet ignores on a daily basis, leads those hapless enough to click on it into a large-scale web of bullshit diet products -- including "pills made from African mangoes" and "potions made from exotic acai berries" -- whose sales totals surpass $1 billion, somehow. "1 Tip for a Tiny Belly," the Washington Post reports in an extensive exposé today, is part of an "affiliate" army of promoters and products, with catchy names like HCG Ultra Lean Plus on websites like Consumeronlinetips.com or Weeklyhealthnews.com, that offer free samples that turn into big charges and fake articles vouching for the weight loss tactics that probably don't work. Now they're under investigation.

The Post reports:

In an action aimed at Internet promoters of acai berry products in April, the FTC filed 10 lawsuits against some of the companies and individuals behind the ads. The agency's allegations are nearly identical in each case: that sites such as Consumeronlinetips.com aren't legitimate news organizations, that the defendants can't substantiate the claims of dramatic weight loss ("25 pounds in only four weeks!") and that the sites' operators don't disclose that they have financial ties to the diet-product merchants they're linking to.

After spending millions spreading the ads, the people who have glimpsed some version of it are said to total in the "tens of millions" over the last 18 months as it was pushed out by Google and other giant ad networks to sites including the Post itself, MSNBC and um, us, in all likelihood.

But just remember: we like your tummy the way it is.

[WaPo via Awl]

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5 comments
Lisabeagle
Lisabeagle

I ordered the products mentioned. Please note the site appears to be a scam and advertising is misleading. The product is not as described. If you have ordered and received goods, please ensure you cancel well within the 12 days as it takes up to 48 hours for emails to be answered. Make sure that you make them aware that you wish to cancel each individual item.  If you pay by Credit Card, contact your card provider's CRS dept.  They will want to know when you cancelled and they will ensure any subsequent payment requests if processed are immediately refunded to your account.  If you paid by Debit card you will have to speak to your bank.DO NOT rely on the cancellation received from the company as you may still get billed as this appears to be a dodgy company to deal with. Be careful if checking on-line scam blogs about HCG  Ultralean as I did and encountered a Strathclyde police virus which is also a scam to get money out of people. Be Very, Very Careful.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I ordered the products mentioned. Please note the site appears to be a scam and advertising is misleading. The product is not as described. If you have ordered and received goods, please ensure you cancel well within the 12 days as it takes up to 48 hours for emails to be answered. Make sure that you make them aware that you wish to cancel each individual item.  If you pay by Credit Card, contact your card provider's CRS dept.  They will want to know when you cancelled and they will ensure any subsequent payment requests if processed are immediately refunded to your account.  If you paid by Debit card you will have to speak to your bank.DO NOT rely on the cancellation received from the company as you may still get billed as this appears to be a dodgy company to deal with. Be careful if checking on-line scam blogs about HCG  Ultralean as I did and encountered a Strathclyde police virus which is also a scam to get money out of people. Be Very, Very Careful.

jai daily
jai daily

diet pills - there is no wonder that out of these herbal formulas, weight loss pills and supplements, only a handful are reliable. So how to tell who is right and who is wrong, within this flood of advertisement? www.1wallmart.com/category.php... And the most serious concern is that these health frauds will not only bring financial loss but can also do serious harms to the health, many of which are unfortunately irreversible! We have tried our best to enlist only those diet pills which really are worthy to look forward to. Now it's your turn to choose the right diet pill for your needs. www.cleansemart.com

Jelena S.
Jelena S.

Just as an addition to the article, Apple just released an iPhone app a few days ago, called Scam Detector, which has a lot of similar scams. The app exposes in detail over 350 of the most notorious scams in the world. It is worth checking it out, if you have an iPhone. It’s kinda cool, actually. There is their info: www.scam-detector.com

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