- 1 Description
- 2 False Pretenses
- 3 Missing contact details
- 4 Consumer warning
- 5 Fake Registrants
- 6 Samples of the spam
- 7 History
- 8 Related Spams
- 9 How to Report this Spam
- 10 Sponsor Organizations
- 11 Further reading
VitalAcai also known as Acai Berry Boom and Acai Power Slim and Power Slim and Quick Slim and Acai Pure and Atami Slim is another scam. Site registrations occur on a registrar in the People's Republic of China, and the web sites ares hosted in such places as Romania and Beijing. Though Acai Berries are a genuine product, the mass spamming for VitalAcai or Acai Power Slim together with the locations of registrations and hosting sites, bear all the traditional indications of a scam. The misleading false pretenses on the sites indicate that the consumer should not expose their identity or credit card details on these non-secure web sites.
|It falsely misrepresents itself as a secure site, but uses unsecure http instead of https when collecting your ID and Credit Card data. It tries to fool the viewer into believing it is secure by putting up a security banner, but the URL shows "http" - a real giveaway.
One exception, however, is the web site vitalacaisupreme.com, which does use secure https support, with a security certificate. This site also differs from the other sites. It has a different copyright statement (© Supreme Brands, LLC 2008 All Rights Reserved.) versus the fake sites (© Vital Acai, 2008 All Rights Reserved)
Another telling difference is shown in the handling charges of the free sample. At the genuine site is is $4.95, but at the fake sites it had rocketed up to $19.95. Subsequently, the fake sites also offered the initial trial at $5.95 US/Canada, $19.95 outside US/Canada.
Oprah Winfrey endorsement
The claim that Acai Berries have been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey has been denied, and legal proceedings have been initiated against these scammers.
Harpo, Inc., producers of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Dr. Oz Show,” along with Dr. Mehmet Oz, filed a trademark infringement complaint today against 40 Internet marketers of dietary supplements, including acai berry products among others. The Attorney General’s office and representatives from Chicago-based Harpo, Inc., coordinated an investigation of consumer complaints – many provided to the Attorney General's office by Harpo – revealing the deceptive practices of these companies. Neither Ms. Winfrey nor Dr. Oz has ever sponsored or endorsed any acai berry or dietary supplement product.
Reference: Illinois Attorney General
Pursuant to this litigation, the image above has been removed on some sites, but only from the front page. It occurs elsewhere on the site. The audio that plays on the front page - from activity.livefaceonweb.com - still states that "everyone from talk show hosts to Hollywood celebrities have already discovered and enjoyed the incredible powers of the Acai berry . . . "
Dr. Perricone endorsement
Quick Slim and Atami Slim sites, such as www.quickslimmers.com
At his web site (www.dailyperricone.com) we find that Dr Perricone does not endorse other Acai Berry products.
Quoting from his site:
Today, the Connecticut attorney general will issue a warning about ubiquitous advertisements to purchase Acai supplements. Please note that while you might have seen his face and name associated with these ads, Dr. Perricone does not and has never endorsed ANY ACAI PRODUCT outside of our Perricone MD product, Super Berry Powder With Acai. These ads use Dr. Perricone’s name and image (as well as Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz) without his permission.
As is well-documented, Dr. Perricone is an advocate of the Acai berry and its multitude of health benefits, but he can not vouch for the quality, purity, and efficacy of any other product without extensive research into the formulations of these products.
Despite this clear statement, the perpetrators of the Acai Berry fraud still continue to use his image and supposed endorsement of their product. This is an obvious fraud.
For more details on the Connecticut attorney general’s actions, please read this article
Missing contact details
You may cancel your membership or modify the frequency of your shipments at any time by calling us at . Please remember, most customers see most noticeable results by using Acai Power Berry consistently for 3 months or more.
The contact phone number has been removed, so that you can not cancel your free trial offer. You will be billed every month with no option to opt out:
Option Clause I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CONSUMER TRANSACTION INVOLVES A NEGATIVE OPTION, AND THAT I MAY BE LIABLE FOR PAYMENT OF FUTURE GOODS AND SERVICES UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT FOR $74.99 PER MONTH PLUS SHIPPING AND HANDLING (PLUS 6% SALES TAX IN FL), IF I FAIL TO NOTIFY THE SUPPLIER NOT TO SUPPLY THE GOODS OR SERVICES DESCRIBED.
The "Contact Us" page also has a road block. You can enter a message, but you can not send it without first keying in the "Verify Code". However, the Verify Code is not displayed, making communication impossible.
This is a deliberate fraud in breach of fair trade, and should be reported to the FTC.
Like most weight loss supplements Vitalacai also offers a free trial. Of course, similar to other diet supplement we have reviewed there is a hidden autoships with full-price payments (no membership discount). As with many other products, the free trial is for 15 days. If nothing is done on the end of the buyer, they are charged a full price of $78.91 for the bottle and one bottle every month after that at the same cost.
Registrant names sometimes make no attempt at obscuring fake identities. Two examples illustrate the problem:
This registration was accepted by registrar XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
Administrative Contact: Name : fghfsdttre Organization : dsfgfgh Address : sdgfsd City : Hengshui Province/State : Hebei Country : CN Postal Code : 1332546 Phone Number : 86--02152829422 Fax : 86--02152829422 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
This registration was also accepted by registrar XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
Administrative Contact: Name : ghdfgert Organization : fghrty Address : sfgdsfdt City : Baotou Province/State : Neimongguziqu Country : CN Postal Code : 212546 Phone Number : 86--02152829422 Fax : 86--02152829422 Email : email@example.com
Note how the names and postal codes were generated by randomly pressing adjacent keys on the keyboard.
Samples of the spam
Subject: Claim Your FREESample This product is, hands down, the best acai berry product that we have tested GetYours [links to ideadark.com]
Subject: Free trial Acai burn Our first taste of Acai energized not only our bodies but stimulated our mind. We would like to share that with you by offering you our free trial of Acaidiet which will lead to sustainable healthy clear cut weight loss A prompt quick http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qdqucyhuud
The page at groups.yahoo.com/group/qdqucyhuud is an advertisement for "Acai Berry" at which links to "Acai Power Slim" at fullaboard.com.
VitalAcai appeared in spam traps in December 2008, after Acai Berries were the subject of a segment on the Oprah Winfrey US TV show, in relation to weight reduction.
Acai Berry Boom was seen in January 2009. It can be shown to be the same site by clicking on the FAQ link. The page title reverts back to Vital Acai - Frequently Asked Questions
Same IP Address
The same IP address, 184.108.40.206, is host to these other spam brands:
- Pure Magnum XL (nicearrange.com, niceargue.com)
- Prestige Replicas (shophave.com, mustbig.com, wearpeer.com, .com)
- Power Gain (daypeer.com, makewear.com)
- VitalAcai (cheap-weightloss.com, cekezxig.com, gocurful.com, ideadark.com, ideahuge.com)
- Acai Berry Boom (makemusts.com makepool.com )
Same Name Servers
nicearrange.com Pure Magnum XL 35 TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD niceargue.com Pure Magnum XL 35 TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD niceannounce.com Acai Power Slim CHINA SPRINGBOARD INC. bestlightonline.com Acai Power Slim CHINA SPRINGBOARD INC. slimfitargument.com Acai Power Slim CHINA SPRINGBOARD INC. easyalong.com Acai Power Slim CHINA SPRINGBOARD INC.
cekezxig.com Vital Acai XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION ideahuge.com Vital Acai XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION ideanot.com Vital Acai XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION ideadark.com Vital Acai XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
gocurful.com Vital Acai 35 TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD
wiliwpuj.com POWER Gain+ XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION calldark.com POWER Gain+ XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
hopewade.com Prestige Replicas BIZCN.COM, INC. helpwade.com Prestige Replicas BIZCN.COM, INC. workhope.com Prestige Replicas BIZCN.COM, INC.
namedark.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION namehuge.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION nothuge.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION hugedune.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION namedune.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION realdune.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION downhope.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION realshere.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION workwade.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION hopepeer.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION hugeheres.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION helppicks.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION hopewait.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION namenot.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION realnot.com Prestige Replicas XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
vedajzoz.com V.E.P. Virility Enlarge Patch XIN NET TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
How to Report this Spam
The most effective way to demand that registrars cancel their illegal contracts with criminals is to use the tool provided for Windows users at Complainterator. Add a link to this page as evidence.
From October 2011
Domain Name: QUICKSLIMS.COM Registrar: CENTER OF UKRAINIAN INTERNET NAMES Name Servers: NS1.SIXSIX6.RU NS2.SIXSIX6.RU (registrar: NAUNET-REG-RIPN) Status: ok Updated Date: 09-sep-2011 Creation Date: 09-sep-2011 Registrant: Svetlana Poltavceva firstname.lastname@example.org ul. Leninskaya 17 43 Yubileynyy, 141090 RUSSIAN FEDERATION +7.4956548754
Name servers ns1.sixsix6.ru & ns2.sixsix6.ru are on IP 220.127.116.11 and quickslims.com has address 18.104.22.168 in Russia, ASN = NCONNECT-AS Navitel Rusconnect Ltd - complain to: email@example.com
A typical site registration from December 2008 is shown here
Domain Name: GOCURFUL.COM Registrar: 35 TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD Name Server: NS1.ADALLSO.COM Name Server: NS2.ADALLSO.COM Status: ok Updated Date: 11-dec-2008 Creation Date: 11-dec-2008
Registrant: ZIJIANG firstname.lastname@example.org +86.075582282075 ZIJIANG JIANZHELU489 SZ,GD,CN 703657
The name server domain that ensures access to this criminal site is registered with another registrar in the People's Republic of Chine:
Domain Name: ADALLSO.COM Registrar: HICHINA ZHICHENG TECHNOLOGY LTD. Name Server: NS1.ADALLSO.COM Name Server: NS2.ADALLSO.COM Status: ok Updated Date: 28-nov-2008 Creation Date: 28-nov-2008
Registrant ID ................... hc801541203-cn Registrant Name ................. WEIXIN CAO Registrant Organization ......... CAOWEIXIN Registrant Address .............. GUANGHEBEILU15 Registrant City ................. SH Registrant Province/State ....... SH Registrant Postal Code .......... 200436 Registrant Country Code ......... CN Registrant Phone Number ......... +86.02126692755 Registrant Fax .................. +86.02126692755 Registrant Email ................ email@example.com
At the time of writing, (17 December 2008) the web site was running on IP address 22.214.171.124 in Romania inetnum: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 netname: SC-PROMOART-SRL descr: SC PromoArt SRL descr: Aurel Vlaicu 55B camera 3 descr: Suceava Suceava 720092 country: ro
The abuse complaint address for this IP is
role: PromoArt NOC address: Aurel Vlaicu nr. 55B camera 3 address: Suceava Suceava 720092 phone: +40330 100 333 fax-no: +40330 100 334 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Madigan files lawsuits against Acai Berry companies, August 19, 2009
- I Kill Spammers blog coverage, August 28, 2009
- Oprah Winfrey denies endorsing Acai products, Oprah Winfrey web site
- Winfrey's Harpo files suit against dietary supplement firms, Chicago Tribune, August 19, 2009
- ABC News warning about Acai Berry Online offers