February 23 2017

FTC Warns of Scammers Creating Fake News Sites to Sell Fake Pills


Scammers are using the practice of creating fake news sites to rip people off.

The Federal Trade Commission says it has found a number of shady companies selling “brain booster” pills using fake endorsements from public figures.

According to the FTC, scammers build spoofed websites that look like the news sites that people 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 FTC says in the warning. 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.

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


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