Like a lot of people, myself included, Louise is almost always on a diet. Last night, whilst I was watching the football, she was on the laptop surfing her way around some diet websites and blogs and stumbled across one called Sandras Diet Secret.
The site was written by a local lady, from our home town, and her most recent blog post was about a drug that she had found that was really working well for her. So far, so what, right?
Well apart from the small fact that the pictures that “Sandra” was using, showing herself before and after her amazing weightloss – all thanks to a wonder drug, don’t forget! – weren’t of “Sandra” at all, but of the lovely Shauna Reid. The same Shauna who came along to one of the first Scottish blogmeets I organised, the same Shauna whose blog I’ve read before she even ventured to these shores, the very same Shauna who makes dieting both funny and uplifting in her book The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl, a book I bought for Louise, which includes photos of Shauna, before and after her REAL amazing weightloss!
After some investigation it turns out the entire blog is fake, in fact it isn’t a blog at all, it’s a single page with faked comments, which inserts a ‘recent’ date at the top of the page and uses a script to match the IP of the visitor (you) to make it look like it’s being written by someone in the same local area. The drug is called ThermothinPlus, and all the links on the website point there.
This is the first time I’ve had firsthand experience of something most of you, my dear readers, already know. That you cannot simply con your way to having a good “online presence”, that blogs take work and effort, care and attention, and that, ultimately if you cock something up or try to con us we WILL find you out.
The optimist in me hopes that people are still learning how to operate in this new world, and that’s on both sides of the fence. I hope that when contacted directly, the people who make the drug which has the fake blog promoting it, one which deliberately tries to trick people, will realise some of the errors of their ways.
There are many examples of this happening, it does happen.
The pessimist in me sees something shiny and bright being dulled and spoiled by, what is largely, the few. The large corporation will do what many large corporations do, even if they don’t consider themselves “evil” they will still talk their way around such things, or point the blame inwards at a faceless department that will look into the matter.
There are many examples of this happening as well, it does happen.
The difference, today in this new world, is that these things happen a helluva lot faster than they used to, the likelihood of getting caught out is exponentially higher and once that happens, word travels fast.
Obviously I’ve not linked to the fake blog, nor the drug website itself here. I don’t want to send them any traffic at all (go on, humour me in my one man boycott (ohhhh new domain!?)) but for the rabidly curious amongst you: sandrasdietsecret dot com and sandrasdietsuccess dot com.
The drug in question is called ThermothinPlus, and they do have a very smart marketing campaign full of “doctor reviews” and even, allegedly, mentions on CNN and the BBC (no links to said programmes though). The whole thing smarts, in my opinion, of a very slick scam based around a gullible and desperate target audience, making it very very sleazy. But, that’s just my opinion, I’m sure you can all make your own, and I’m sure you ALL know better than to buy drugs from the internet without really knowing what is in them (aka, never trust what you read on one website).