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. 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.