Shark Tank Scam Yields More Victims
For 14 years, millions of viewers have been watching the TV show Shark Tank, in which budding entrepreneurs pitch their products to a panel of business magnates known as “sharks” and ask for their money. The sharks are celebrities themselves, and their endorsements carry a lot of weight with the consumer public.
So it’s no surprise that scammers are now seeking to profit from the influential Shark Tank name. In a consumer alert, the Federal Trade Commission has cautioned consumers to watch out for phony Shark Tank endorsements.
“Before you spend money on that ‘Shark-approved’ miracle invention, weight loss product, or keto diet pill, are you sure it’s really been through the Tank? Really sure?” asks Karen Hobbs, an FTC assistant director of consumer and business education. “Scammers are using fake Shark Tank celebrity testimonials and endorsements – complete with doctored photos and videos – to generate buzz and profits.”
Consumers can protect themselves by keeping a few main things in mind when they hear about a supposed Shark Tank endorsement. The FTC advises:
Search independently for product reviews. Tip: When you search, it’s helpful to use terms like “scam” or “complaints,” along with the name of the product you are interested in.
Try to determine if the product really has been on Shark Tank. You can find more information by clicking here.
Be careful in selecting dietary supplements that make claims about Shark Tank. The wrong choice could be harmful. Dietary supplements, unlike pharmaceuticals, are not assessed for safety by the Food and Drug Administration.
If you identify a fake Shark Tank promotion – or any consumer fraud – you may report it to the FTC by clicking here.