Skip to main content

AND PROBABLY ON RIGHTY BLOGS, TOO, BUT I DON'T READ THEM.

On December 6, someone posted a diary titled, "Today, I found out we have nothing." It was a long sob story that elicited the usual sympathy and offers of help from kind-hearted Kossacks.

Someone in the comments smelled a scam and checked it out. That someone was correct.

But here's the deal: the company that the scam artist diarist was traced back to had a product being advertised on many of the lefty blogs including TalkingPointsMemo, fivethirtyeight, Atrios and the Huffington Post as a weight loss wonder drug. And it was much worse than just trading on the sympathy of generous individuals. If you have dealt with them, you need to know some vital information.

This weekend I was at a friend's house. In her kitchen, I noticed a bottle of acai berry pills. Being curious, I asked her what they did. She said they were supposed to help you lose weight. She said they only cost $5 for shipping, so what did she have to lose?

My friend is a devotee of fivethirtyeight, so I asked her A red light went off in my head. I had remembered one of the commenters on the scam diary saying something about a product that was advertised by the company that was tied to the scam diarist. The commenter said that the company advertised that it "only charged for shipping," but then, people ordering it would find their accounts debited for $78.

I immediately told my friend that we needed to get on her computer and look at her account. Sure enough, there it was: a charge for $78.81 by Advanced Wellness Research. Today, my friend called her bank to report the fraud. Her bank immediately told her she needed to get a new debit card because the charge was scheduled to be made monthly. Her bank also tried to call several numbers associated with the withdrawal, but, naturally, none of them worked.

So she now has a new debit card and her bank is following up on her fraud report.

I know this isn't much of a diary, but I couldn't let this go without warning y'all. If you or someone you know has been taken advantage of, GO TO YOUR BANK IMMEDIATELY.

UPDATE: To clarify.

  1. Popvent posts a diary about how his family has lost everything.
  1. He provides a link to his wife's business site, HealZoo, which, according to a comment by Kossack Ultraslacker, is linked to a number of scam sites. HealZoo is a weight loss website.
  1. A commenter pointed out that Popvent's IP address was linked to an acai berry scam. This commenter also noted that people would send for the acai berry pills thinking they were only paying shipping. Then their bank accounts would be charged $78.

I may have made a leap, based on other comments, that linked Popvent to the acai berry scam. If so, I apologize. However, based on the googling skills of smarter Kossacks than me, Popvent appears to be a bit shady.

And the acai berry scam is real.

Originally posted to AtlantaJan on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:06 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences