The FTC and the State of Connecticut has jointly filed a complaint against a promoter of weight loss and “colon cleanse” products based in Connecticut. The complaint seeks stop the promoter from allegedly using fake news websites to promote their products, making deceptive weight loss claims, and informing consumers they could receive free 14-day trials of acai berry and colon cleanse products by paying the cost of shipping and handling. The FTC alleges that many of those who took up the free trial offers ended up paying $79.99 for the trial, and had to pay for recurring monthly shipments of products that were hard to cancel.
The defendants in this case are Boris Mizhen, LeanSpa LLC, and two other companies, Nutraslim LLC and Nutraslim UK Ltd.
In the complaint, it is alleged that affiliate marketers who promoted the product used fake news websites to substantiate the claims of the product. These websites had news-like domain names such as channel8health.com, dailyhealth6.com, and online6health.com (don’t bother visiting these sites now, they have gone defunct). Furthermore, these so-called news websites carried purported news items such as “Acai Berry Diet Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam?” and “1 Trick of a Tiny Belly: Reporter Loses Her ‘Belly’ Using 1 Easy Tip”. The sites also contained the logos of major news sources, such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.
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