Brazil Botanicals congratulates Visa for cutting off up to 100 'Acai Berry Diet Pill' merchants using 'free-trial' online scams

December 24, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
Saint George, Utah Brazil Botanicals and Dr. Tim's Juices support and congratulate Visa, Inc in their move to "cut off 100 scammers who use bogus marketing techniques". Brazil Botanicals was the first to recognize this emerging problem back in the summer of 2008. "We monitor the web very closely and identified the scammer issue and reported the situation to Google". Brazil Botanicals also wrote letters and published articles as early as August of 2008 warning consumers of the devious and deceptive plot being perpetrated by these swindlers.

The Associated Press in an article by Eileen AJ Connelly reported that "Most of the time, the swindlers use Internet ads to lure their customers. The ads often feature unauthorized photos of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray, implying endorsements for supplements like acai berries or teeth whiteners." "Other common features on the deceptive ads are fake testimonials and credit for the discovery of breakthrough products to a "local mom," said Stephen Salter, vice president of BBB Online. When someone clicks on the ad, their computer's location triggers a program that sets the origin of the "local" mom near that user."

The scammers practice a technique known as "negative option" marketing and although it is not illegal it is a serious problem because of the hidden costs and the failure to be forthright disclosing those costs. Here is how it works; consumers click on an ad for a free trial offer for supplements or teeth whiteners or an information kit for government grants. They believe that they are providing their credit card information to cover nominal shipping and handling fees. But what they don't realize is that they have authorized these swindlers to charge their credit cards on a monthly basis as well as allow the companies to sell the consumers' private information.

"We are very happy to see some action being taken by a company such as Visa Inc to protect the consumer and legitimate businesses" says Dr. Tim. "We go out of our way to provide transparency and to provide our customers with a safe and reliable experience when buying from us." Consumers who've been caught up in the scams should file complaints with the FTC online at or by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP.