Another day, another inbox full of spam, including this one that arrived with the subject line, “Shocking report by ABC on Dr.Oz!,” and featuring the image at the head of this post. They’re calling it Avinol PM and, I have no doubt they’re hoping it sounds enough like Tylenol PM to sound legit. For the record, Dr. Oz does NOT sell, promote or endorse this product. Silly scammers, don’t they know we’re sleeping with one eye open because people like them are lurking around every corner?
DO NOT purchase this product based on these FAKE celebrity endorsements!
This scammer has designed a site that is supposed to lure visitors into thinking their on a media site. Using the “LifeStyle Journal Review” logo and with a menu bar that has topics like fitness, health, beauty, diet, fashion, food, and travel, one might think they’ve landed on a website and not just a sales page. BUT on closer inspection, it becomes clear that EVERY LINK leads to the purchase page for their product. That’s right – the travel link leads to the purchase page, the fashion link leads to the purchase page, the beauty link leads to… you get it.
Then there’s this photo:
SO OFTEN scammers will take a picture from a segment on the Dr. Oz Show and place it on their site with a misleading caption to steer consumers toward their product. DON’T BELIEVE IT!
<rant>I appear pretty regularly on the Dr. Oz Show where I discuss exactly this type of con. He frequently discusses new discoveries in the health sector, but rarely by name and always in a manner that is informational and not promotional. He does NOT SELL ANYTHING. PERIOD. If you see is picture on a site that’s selling anything – it is a scam. </rant>
TESTIPHONIALS – Phony Testimonials
Just because a site has testimonials and photos of happy people who have tried a product, does not mean they’re real. Take for example the heart wrenching story of “Gwen Smith,” a woman who, due to lack of sleep, lost her marriage and more. They include this quote:
“Before I got married and had children, my life was stress-free and I slept like a log almost every night. I didn’t think that caring for my kids, and my husband, and maintaining a full-time job would be so overwhelming – I felt like ‘everyone else seems to be doing it just fine, things should work out eventually…right? But things only got worse. My first husband left me for someone who ‘knows how to make time for me’ and didn’t constantly ‘bring me down by complaining about her problems – unlike you!’ This painful betrayal made me feel like a failure as a wife, and as a woman. The stress of it all made it nearly impossible to sleep at night.”
Unfortunately for these cons, I’m about to blow a hole in their story.
See the image on the right? Look familiar?
Yep. That’s “Gwen Smith”… only not really. This is a stock photo image that’s available for purchase (but was more likely stolen) at Shutterstock.com where she’s better known as, “Smiling embracing mom and daughter looking at camera.” It’s a mouthful – I can see why the cons went with Gwen.
In my book, if a site has to make up testimonials I’m not going to purchase your product.
You have to applaud their creativity! In an effort to convince you of how great this product is, they “TESTED” the product. Here’s what they claim:
“Before we wrote this feature piece on the fantastic benefits of this product, we had to make sure the science was real and not just anecdotal). We needed solid proof, so we asked for some volunteers from our staff to back up what all of these success stories were saying.
One of our hardest working employees, Stacy Jones, agreed to try this product out for a total of 12 weeks (the company was offering a free trial at the time, and 12 weeks was as much of a supply as we could get). Stacy is our paid intern, and volunteered immediately because she is a self-professed “chronic insomniac” and claims to be the most neurotic one in her circle of girlfriends.”
Now, remember, the “Feature Piece” is for “LifeStyle Journal Review” – the site they are pretending to be.
In their post-test report, “Stacy” is quoted as saying, “Holy cow! Avinol PM is working like a charm! Even on my most stressful days, days which would usually end with me lying in bed and my mind racing until 2 or 3 in the morning, taking Avinol PM every night has me out like clockwork. And it has to be improving my sleep quality too, because when I wake up in the morning, I don’t even need to hit the ‘snooze’ button anymore.”
BUT WAIT… “Stacy” (aka “Portrait of relaxed woman holding a cup of coffee in her kitchen at her table”) is neighbors with “Gwen” (aka “Smiling embracing mom and daughter looking at camera”) – they live next door to each other in Shutterstock Land.
Well, Chris (aka “pissed off woman looking with disdain at laptop”) says don’t fall for it!
For good measure, and because you can never fake too much enthusiasm for a crappy product, the scammers have included a nice batch of Testiphonials from “Facebook” comments too. None of them are real and they were created using real PIRATED Facebook accounts. That means that real people are getting a bunch of Facebook messages from people who are asking them if they REALLY LOVE the product as much as they said on the site. And they are replying, “Huh?”
THE “FREE TRIAL” THAT LOOTS YOUR CREDIT CARD EVERY 30 DAYS
Through out the site they’re offering a “Free Trial,” but if you dig in, you’ll discover something very different.
Buried on the last page of the purchase form, after you’re provided your credit card information to cover the $4.95 shipping fee, far below where any normal person would be looking, lies the most important text:
Start your 15 day trial now and you will receive a full supply of Avinol PM (a 30-day supply with a retail price of $89.96). Your 15 day trial period begins three days after you place your order. During your 15 day trial period, you can evaluate this amazing product and see the results for yourself. If you love Avinol PM as much as we do, simply do nothing and at the end of your trial period, you will be charged the super low price of $79.95 – a big savings! If, for any reason, you decide that Avinol PM is not right for you, simply call 1-855-509-6081 before the end of your trial. When you accept this trial offer you will also receive membership into the Avinol PM Healthy Rewards Program. Beginning 30 days after your trial starts and continuing every 30 days thereafter you will get a fresh supply of Avinol PM at the same generous discount price of $79.95 (plus shipping)!
SO, if you forget to cancel (which you probably will because 98% of people will never notice the well-misplaced terms), your credit card will be charged $79.95 18 days after you hit the send button to get your “free” trial. Read the next part carefully – your trial starts “3 days after you place the order” and “30 days after your trial starts, you’ll be charged another $79.95, plus shipping. That means, your card will be charged 18 days after you hit the send button, and then again 12 days after that for a total over $160.
Scammers do this in hopes that buyers won’t notice until the second charge has gone through. Then, when you do call, they’ll give you such grief about the return policy – opened bottles, restocking fees, etc. – that many people just give up.
YOU’LL SLEEP BETTER KNOWING HOW TO AVOID THESE KINDS OF SCAMS, and I’m telling you that for FREE! 🙂
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