Magic Diet Product Scams Invade Freecycle And Meetup Groups

Beware! Affiliate spammers have infiltrated innocent online groups, looking to take advantage of the people who haven’t yet heard that “free” trials of magic diet foods are a scam.

I recently joined a Meetup.com group for local knitters because my actual friends stubbornly refuse to take up knitting. This afternoon, the following message came through:

Hey, I saw that we were in the same group. I just wanted to ask you to check out my diet blog and tell me what you think of it. It’s my story of how I lost 40+ pounds after having 3 kids! My link is http://www.marciasweightloss.com if you have any questions feel free to message me back, Thanks!

Hey, funny how “Marcia” lives in San Diego when this group is based in New York. And how her blog looks like dozens of other acai scam blogs I’ve seen.

Edit: Meetup acknowledge and explained the problem this afternoon. Good for them!

Unfortunately, Meetup groups aren’t the only venue for spam. Messages similar to this one have started appearing on Freecycle lists across the country:

SUBJECT: [OFFER] My Leftover Colon Cleanse Product SEALED – Downtown

I got the results i wanted from using this, and I have some
left over which I don’t really need it anymore. (It’s for
losing weight if you didn’t know already)

Some moderators see what’s up and let it through; others don’t. You can guess how this works—anyone who e-mails asking for the free product gets a link to a site where they can get their very! own! free! trial! Similar scams are run with spammers purportedly giving away video game consoles, computers, and iPods. The poster claims that the item is gone, but if you just click here and fill out some offers, you can get your very own Dell laptop or Wii, for free!

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(Photo: George Arriola)