Weight Loss Lies, Redux (for the jillionth time)

We’ve all seen the spam. Weight loss, sexual enhancers, body part enlargers… it’s a never-ending stream. Spam is so cheap to send out and requires such a small percentage of turnover relative to how much is blasted out that it will always be profitable for goons and drones and paid affiliates to engage in this shady enterprise.

But it always surprises me when hqiz like this goes mainstream.

If you’re not convinced yet, let me show you one that showed up in my email this morning.


Wow! Wouldn’t you like results that amazing? Wow! Based on the images, the happy lady in those pictures up there has lost at least 30 pounds, and likely more – all in the brief space of 30 days.

Never mind that healthy weight loss takes place at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week… whatever this weight loss secret is, I gotta get me some of that! And Dr. Oz is happy to hawk it, right alongside last year’s green coffee extract, or the confusum combobulosum he was hawking before that.

At least the ad above didn’t use the “one weird old trick” line, even though that’s still being used everywhere. But it’s still 100% pure, unadulterated camel ejecta. Snake Oil. Garbage.

What is it? Well, let’s dig a bit.

Doing the “show source” dance from my email client, we find that this ad will direct you to


Ain’t that a mouthful? These dynamically-generated URL’s are one of the first clues that a particular website is illicit, shady, or otherwise disreputable. What’s more, if you reverse-hack the URL to just “rincomplex.com”, you find a placeholder website full of dummy text and randomly-scraped news articles. They might as well have filled it with lorem ipsum.

But never mind that… I toddled over to the website and found this:


Ok, so this “miracle product” is garcinia cambogia. Along with the typical shameless infomercial/show by Oz, the Great and Powerful. But pay no attention to the little man behind that screen, folks – if you plunk down your money in the hopes of losing weight fast, fast, fast, you’re going to be disappointed.  But before we get into the substance itself, let’s look at how insistent and immoral the marketing practice is.

If you scroll down the page above and express interest, you’ll need to provide your contact information in full – information which will be immediately sold on to other scam companies by this disreputable marketing outfit. If you try to leave the page by using your “back” button or closing your browser, you’ll get this:


Wow, 60% discount. Maybe I’d better stick around. But both options (expressing interest or trying to leave) take you to the same “special discount” page anyway. Now, notice that you got promised a 60% discount plus free shipping, but the page below says it’s “Over 30%”. But on top of that, I’ve mentioned it before – any website that employs this tactic to try to get you to buy is immediately flagged as both spammy and scammy in my book, and the fact that they’re still doing it shows me that it’s effective. Please, don’t fall victim to these snake-oil vendors.


So, depending on how gullible you are, you’ll spend between $148.00 and $48.00 for some herbs of questionable effectiveness (more about that later) and spurious quality.

If you’re still not convinced, you get another popup:



Now it’s a BOGO offer – buy one, get one free. But you’re still spending that 48.00, which was the minimum purchase level on the previous screen.

Nah, I think I’ll pass… but WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! We don’t have your money yet, and by all that’s holy we want some of it.


So now you’re up to an 80% discount…


Just give us your information, send us a double sawbuck, and we’ll consider ourselves winners (and you a loser.) But really, who could turn down such an amazing offer, with free shipping no less?

Some people can, but there’s one final hook for them:


Only fi’dollars. Just a fin. That’s hardly nuttin’, mister. So if you click “Stay on this page,” you get their rock-bottom offer:


Click on this to claim your offer, and see what you’ve won!


So you greedily fill out the form, thinking you’ve sure pulled one over on these boobs… but you’ve failed to notice that tiny, tiny print up there that says “terms apply.” What in the world could those terms be?


So if you read the fine print down there at the bottom of the page, you discover that you need to call them within 14 days to get that $4.99 price. If you don’t, they’ll gleefully charge your credit card for $29.95, ten bucks more than their previous offer, and you find yourself enrolled in an “autoship” program whereby they’ll send you a new bottle every 30 days, for the low low price of only $29.95.

Great Mogg’s tufted ears, folks – why in the name of all that’s holy would you do business with a checkered-suit operation like this? They get you coming, they get you going, and if they get their hooks into you, they’ll never let go.

So before we sign off for today, let’s have a quick look at this garcinia cambogia and see what it’s really all about.

If you look up garcinia at WebMD, you find that it’s marketed under various names:

Acide Hydroxycitrique, AHC, Brindal Berry, Brindle Berry, Cambogia gummi-guta, Garcinia Cambogi, Garcinia cambogia, Garcinia gummi-guta, Garcinia quaesita, Gorikapuli, Hydroxycitrate, Hydroxycitric Acid, HCA, Kankusta, Malabar Tamarind, Mangostana cambogia, Tamarinier de Malabar, Vrikshamla.

As well as this insightful description:

Garcinia is a plant. The fruit rind is used to make medicine. Don’t confuse garcinia with Garcinia hanburyi (gamboge resin).
How does it work?
Developing research suggests that garcinia might prevent fat storage and control appetite;
however, whether these effects occur in humans is unclear.

But as I have mentioned before, a single scientific study or even some preliminary research is enough to get the media to latch on to those results and get some advertising clicks out of it – and if that starts to happen, the marketeers come from the voodvork out.

Click a little further into WebMD and you find the User Ratings page for the product – reviews which look a whole lot different from the shill-written reviews on the marketing pages:

  • Been taking it for 3 weeks. Have not lost one pound. Have been sleeping more soundly, though. Biggest problem is that my whole body has started to ache. And my joints hurt. I thought at first it was because of my workouts, which I had increased- but I stopped for a week and the pain is still there. I just read on another website that is you are taking stati. Drugs for high cholesterol – which I do – it can exacerbate the negative effects of those drugs and cause muscle degeneration and joint pain. Guess I will be stopping this supplement.
  • Didn’t lose any weight, often had GI upset
  • I have been using this product for one week. Yes it suppresses your appetite but I have had a migraine for the entire week. Stopped taking it…..no headache. Not worth it.

Check the reviews yourself. Oh, and side effects?

  • Garcinia is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used for 12 weeks or less. Long-term safety is unknown. Garcinia can cause nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headache.
  • Special Precautions & Warnings:
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of garcinia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

“Possibly safe?” Wow, that means it might not hurt me. The bottom line is that sufficient scientific research on this and most other herbal supplements is woefully inadequate – randomized, double-blind, placebo-based studies over decades are usually required to give a clear picture of how safe and effective any substance is to take into your body.

But the salespeople don’t want you to know that, and they pay people like Dr. Oz big bucks to hawk these products, which nets them millions of dollars from poor yutzes like you and me, if we’re foolish enough to pay attention to their pestilential marketing campaigns.

One last point: be careful not to assume that I’m saying all natural remedies are worthless or dangerous. That’s not the case. But the vast majority of the things you see hawked on the internet or on these infomercial-style media advertisements are there for only one reason – to get your money based on false promises and false hope. If you’re interested in releasing weight, my recommendations can be found here – scroll to the bottom of the page and find the section entitled “So if you’re interested in releasing weight, what can you do?

If you’re wanting to be lighter and thinner, the odds are you can be – but as I’ve said before and often and don’t care who hears it: there’s no magic bullet. Save your money.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Oh, and who’s sending this garbage email out?

Pure Garcinia Cambogia
530 Lake Avenue #501 (Appears to be the Pasadena Rug Mart)
Pasadena, CA 91101

and their spam affiliate,

“Multispecialty Medical Groups”
1231 Northern Lights Blvd, #569 (A post office box at a UPS Store)
Anchorage, AK 99503

5 responses to “Weight Loss Lies, Redux (for the jillionth time)

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