Wherever you go on the web these days, you find all kinds of scams aimed at separating you from your money. One of the worst is the fake diet blog, which claims that the blogger lost 45 lbs in no time at all using two diet products. Here’s an example of the intro to one of these scams.
Hello and welcome to website of Kimberly Smith. I set up this website so that I can share my weight loss experience and story with you, provide inspiration, help and hope for those, who are having hard time losing weight. This is my true story about a diet I discovered, and how I went from being depressed and overweight, to a great body, and overall happier and healthier person. I used a combination of two free trial products: 1. weight loss/detoxifying formula, and 2. colon cleanser. I hope you will be inspired by my story and you will also be able to shed some pounds using this method. More importantly, I was not only able to lose, but also maintan my weight. I feel overall 100% better, I gained confidence around my friends, at work, and I even noticed that men look at me differently! I know the awful, depressing feeling of being fat. But three months ago, I started using an acai berry supplement in combination with colon cleanser supplement, and my life has changed completely. Trust me, if I could do it, you can too! Recently, I’ve been the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been (and I can shop in a regular clothing store now!).
These sites look just like real blogs with comments and everything. In my research, I found that these scammers are just about everywhere. They have used Google Adwords extensively using the content network with adds like 2 Rules for a Flat Stomach or Mom loses 52 Lbs Following 2 Rules. I even tested a few ads on Google Adwords to see if they would approve them or what. No problem with that. Google didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
And it’s not just the diet category, its also all kinds of other subjects aimed at improving your looks. Wrinkles, whiter teeth, muscle building and on and on.
These blogs all have fake pictures,fake names, fake endorsements and fake comments. They claim to be related to Oprah or Dr. Oz or some other celebrity.
The blogs convince you whatever snake oil works and then they send you to a site where you can get “free samples”. Yea right. The thing is they need your credit card number for some reason in order to send you the free sample. Next thing you know is your being billed $70 per month for two small bottles of the snake oil. And just try to get it stopped. Good luck with that.
Remember, beware of people giving stuff for free. There’s usually something not right with that.
UPDATE Jan 2010: The FTC has cracked down on these types of sites, so they are disappearing from the web only to replaced by some other scam.
UPDATE 2 July 2010: Google suspended my Adwords account for the ads they approved when I was doing my research. No warning, just suspended without any recourse.