Feds crack down on acai and colon cleanser online ads

Berries that can help you lose weight! A pill that can remove toxins from your body! And, you can try them for free!

Wow, what a deal.

The ABC15 Investigators say that's just what the businesses behind the ads want you to think.

If you spend any time on the Internet, you've seen them. They look like legitimate news sites, with stories about health and consumer issues.

They are called "investigations" into certain products like health supplements and colon cleansers. But they're fake.

The Federal Trade Commission says they're made up. They're ads to get you to buy those products.

I usually don't give the FTC a lot of credit, but they seem to be really cracking down here.

Last year, they charged 10 companies with misleading people, including a Phoenix business that just settled for $1.5 million.

Now, the FTC is going after a California business it says recruited the marketers.

Bottom line, the FTC says the health claims are "false or unsubstantiated" and the businesses "falsely represented that the stories on the fake news sites were objective news reports."

One more thing. The businesses used "free trial" offers to lure people.

Stay away from those free trial offers. They want your credit card information for "shipping" reasons, but once they get it, they can abuse it.

The FTC says these businesses didn't let people know enough about the cancelation and return policies concerning those free trial periods.

And they say people were sucked into buying more products with more credit card charges.

So be very careful about buying products online. Check out the claims and any complaints about the business before buying anything.

Have you fallen for a scam? E-mail me , or "like" my ABC15 Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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