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The Federal Trade Commission’s has temporarily stopped a group of marketers in Nevada and California from conducting business using “free” trial offers and health claims that the agency charges are deceptive and illegal to pitch green coffee bean extract and another dietary supplements. The FTC is seeking to permanently stop their allegedly deceptive conduct.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Health Formulas, LLC, its related entities, and principals (Simple Pure) use telemarketing, the Internet, print, radio, and television advertisements to pitch a variety of dietary supplements and other weight-loss, virility, muscle-building, or skin cream products. Examples of Simple Pure’s advertising claims include: 1) “Burn fat without diet or exercise”; 2) “Shed pounds fast!” and 3) “Extreme weight loss!” The FTC alleges that the defendants have no basis for the weight-loss claims they make about their products.
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Consumers who buy into a product that promises to let you lose weight while continuing to sit on the couch eating bonbons will likely lose more money than they will pounds. Such was the case for the customers of a dietary supplement company being shut down at the request of the Federal Trade Commission for making unsubstantiated health claims and signing consumers up for monthly charges without their knowledge.
The FTC announced today that it received a U.S. district court order to temporarily stop a group of marketers in Nevada and California from using allegedly deceptive tactics to sell green coffee bean extract and other dietary supplements.
According to the FTC complaint [PDF], Health Formulas, LLC, its related entities and principals in charge of the Simple Pure brand used telemarketing, the internet, print, radio and television advertisements to coax consumers into purchasing a variety of dietary supplements and other weight-loss, virility, muscle-building, or skin cream products sold under the names RKG Extreme and Pure Green Coffee Bean Plus.
Pitches for the products included claims such as “Burn fat without diet or exercise,” “shed pounds fast!” and “extreme weight loss!” The FTC alleges that the claims used by marketers had no basis in regards to their products.
Action against Health Formulas is the first the agency has brought against a company alleging violations of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), which prohibits marketers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction, unless the marketer has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained the consumers express consent.
In addition to making false claims, the FTC charges that Health Formulas and its entities tricked consumers into disclosing their credit and debit card information, and then enrolled them in programs without authorization.
In many cases the programs continually charged consumers’ for weight-loss products ranging from $60 to $210 per month, as well as, several add-on products that cost between $7.95 and $60.