FTC Complaint Seeks $12M for Fake Paid Reviews on Amazon Plus Misrepresentations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint seeking a $12.8M against Cure Encapsulations, Inc. (“Cure”) and others because (a) Cure paid a third-party website to write and post fake reviews on Amazon.com for its product and (b) Cure made false and unsubstantiated claims for their garcinia cambogia weight-loss supplement as being an appetite-suppressing, fat-blocking, weight-loss pill. See FTC Feb. 26, 2019 Press Release (Click here for a copy of the press release). Although the complaint is primarily based upon reasonable evidence obtained by the FTC, these are allegations against Cure which have not been confirmed nor commented on by a court.

According to the complaint, Cure’s owner told the website’s operator that his product needed to have an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars in order to have sales and to, “Please make my product … stay a five star.” Further, the complaint states that defendants made false and unsubstantiated claims on their Amazon product page, including through the purchased reviews, that their nutritional weight loss product is a “powerful appetite suppressant,” “Literally BLOCKS FAT From Forming,” causes significant weight loss, including as much as twenty pounds, and causes rapid and substantial weight loss, including as much as two or more pounds per week. The FTC seeks some reliable scientific evidence to support any these health benefit claims and the efficacy of Cure’s products.

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