In our first YouTube video of this series, we spilled the tea on the “biggest deal in Shark Tank history” and the Instagram user Sarah.Standford. These two seemingly unrelated topics shared a common thread: they were both keto diet scams with elaborate backstories cooked up by a diet pill company to scam hundreds of dollars from unsuspecting people.
Recap: Shark Tank Keto Pills and “Sarah”
Sarah was supposedly a Master’s student at Stanford who used school funding to find a way to lose 25 pounds. In this fake backstory, she discovered a miracle weight loss pill; one that could be yours too for only the low cost of shipping!
Similarly, ads flourished through different social media platforms claiming these new keto diet pills received a standing ovation and the biggest deal every in Shark Tank history. The bold claims and extreme weight-loss imagery seemed larger than life, causing thousands of people to fall for this scam. Little did these people know, they would be charged anywhere between $80 to $300 with no hope of a refund.
Our First Keto Scam Video
After our first two videos and articles on the Shark Tank keto scam and Instagram scandal went out, over 400 people reached out to tell us their story and how they fell for the scam. Some were charged hundreds of dollars and received nothing which, to be honest, may have been better than those who did receive a product in the mail.
The actual pills that were sent out claimed to have 800mg BHB (far below the efficacious dose of at least 6 grams of DL-BHB) and numerous fillers. These products are unregulated and who only knows what harmful ingredients they could be filmed with.
Keto Pill Scam is Back
We are bringing you a part three to this video because this company is back at it again. Luckily, after the overwhelming response to our first video, so many people reported the fake profiles that some were taken down.
Unfortunately, the company just re-branded. They are reusing the exact same article and photos, just changing the woman’s name. The latest incarnation of this scam is Jessica Reed. Everything about this Instagram profile is an exact copy of Sarah from the first video.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Besides the fact you know better than to fall for this scam because of the previous story we uncovered, here are some obvious red flags we noticed right away.
On the Instagram profile:
- All of the comments are disabled.
- None of the before and after photos tag or credit the people in the photos.
- The screen captures were doctored to look like “Kylie” (aka Kylie Jenner) liked the photos.
- There are only 22 posts on the account that was started back in October, yet it has 80,000+ followers and is receiving thousands of likes on hashtagged photos. This is highly indicative of bots and paying for followers and likes.
On the website link from bio:
- The main photo looks like a screenshot from Instagram but this photo isn’t from Instagram. It shows the photo has over 331,000 comments, but all of her comments are disabled.
- The pill name keeps changing.
- Again, none of the transformation photos used are linked or give credit to the original posters.
- They claim that their pill and apple cider vinegar has been clinically proven to “increase resting metabolism more than 130%” but the brand cites no sources. If you check Pubmed or ClinicalTrials.gov, you’ll see there have never been any studies conducted.
- There are numerous grammatical and spelling errors.
- The pills are Photoshopped to look like they were in magazines and endorsed by celebrities.
Stolen Photos & Identity Theft
In addition to the fact that thousands of people are getting scammed for $100+, this company is also stealing photos from real people who have made significant weight loss transformations. While this may not seem like a big deal, for someone who has put in the time and effort to change their life, it can be devastating to see someone claim that your weight loss was because of some diet pill. We reached out to several Instagram accounts who had their photos stolen to gather their thoughts.
@honestafcarla had this to say about the matter:
“It’s very disheartening when you find your photos have been stolen from companies selling or promoting diets. Then you read the comments from people saying the photos aren’t even the same person. It’s upsetting. Seeing my photos plastered all over Instagram from accounts I’ve never heard of hurts to see because I worked hard and disciplined myself to get where I am. I can’t even begin to imagine what rubbish they are selling to people.”
Another account, @hayleysweightlossjourney, was also targeted. She wanted people to know that:
“For me, it’s the dangers behind it. People are being mislead into thinking these awful products actually work, which means they are spending money on them they may not even be able to afford, and can give them side effects, when they just don’t work. I hate having my face associated with them as it makes me feel like the public’s enemy for advertising them, even though I’m not.”
What Can You Do To Help?
Help us take action and get the word out about this Shark Tank keto pills scam. Report accounts that are sharing stolen weight loss transformation photos. The captions and poorly photoshopped diet pill Shark Tank ads are a dead giveaway. Here are some examples:
“Another amazing transformation using my weight loss discovery. Read the article in my bio if you want to lose 25 lbs in a month”
“@sarahnutritional will help you transform your body using her weight loss discovery. Read the article in her bio if you want to lose 25 lbs in a month”
You can also share this article, YouTube video, or any other pertinent information to friends and family to help prevent more people from falling for this scam.
In all of this negativity, at least there is one positive thing that has come out of this scammy company: terribly photoshopped Shark Tank ads that are so bad, it’s almost impossible not to laugh. So, enjoy a good laugh with these Photoshop fails:
Chelsea Malone works as a researcher in the field of health and performance supplementation. She contributes science-based articles and information to Ketogenic.com. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Central Florida and her Master of Science in Medical Sciences from the University of South Florida. Her specialties are in biochemistry, immunology, and pathophysiology. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, and reading.