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Those funny blood-sucking scammers

Since almost becoming a victim of one, I’ve gotten very interested in web scammers.  These are people who put up websites whose secondary purpose is plugging dubious products, and whose main purpose is fraud and theft.

I started posting about web scams in my regular blog; the topic became so engrossing (to me, anyway) that it was a distraction from what I usually write about.  So I’m shifting web scamming to its own blog, and this is it!

Why?

Entertainment: The earnest fantasies that web scammers spin are hilarious.  And their devious machinations show lots of talent and effort, making me wonder why they don’t just get jobs.  Laughing at them throws sunlight on them, drying up their slimy schemes.

Someone has to do it: The Better Business Bureau is mired in the 20th century.  Credit card issuers eat reversed charges, having learned the futility of pursuing nomadic and offshore operations.  The feds have bigger fish to fry.  And Amazon has lulled consumers into supposing that all web stores are honest, reliable businesses.  A few bloggers are doing what they can to warn people.  And that may be the most we can realistically accomplish.

I hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from this blog.  Please reply with your experiences, corrections and ideas.

Call to action

  • If you have a blog or a web page, it would be a public service if you would include links to posts I’ve made.  Together we can “google-bomb” the scammers by positioning honest information higher in Google search results than their fake reviews.
  • Send me a link to your blog about scamming, and I’ll include it here.
  • If you bought something from a scammer and you don’t want it, give that purchase some purpose.  Send it to me!  I’ll review it (but I’m not promising to test stuff that’s too sketchy or scary) and write about it to warn others.
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Doubting Defenders Of Wildlife

I cringe whenever I receive mailings such as their magazine, pleas for more money, and advertising for seminars to learn how to leave them money. I already donate and they’re already in my will. I don’t need to be hit over the head a dozen times per year with their catastrophic news.

The above is from a Yelp review by Sue Ellen E.  How to contact this charity:

Web site: Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1-800-385-9712

April 18, 2018: There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices.  But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined.  I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  None found.

Suspicious location: +1.  The address listed above is a real building.  Nothing untoward  here.

Onerous terms: +1.  None found.

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0.  DOW’s privacy policy is mild compared to some web solicitations.  However,

  • If you opt in, they’ll send you email.
  • Unless you opt out, they’ll share your email with “like-minded organizations.”
  • If you send messages to government officials and agencies via DOW, those recipients may collect your personal data and use it as they see fit.

Lying and deception: -1

  • Defenders of Wildlife displays the Better Business Bureau logo.  And it is in fact a BBB “Accredited charity.
  • They also display the Charity Navigator logo.  Charity Navigator recognizes DOW, but gives it a score of only 81 or ***.  DOW’s latest released IRS form 990 is three years old.
  • DOW’s asserted use of funds doesn’t agree with Charity Navigator’s report.
  • In 2007 Charity Watch found several instances in which administrative expenses were counted as program expenses.  “The group is not spending donors’ dollars any more efficiently than it has in previous years.

A Facebook ad by Defenders of Wildlife

Obfuscation: +1.  None found.

Phony reviews: +1.  None found.

Crummy product: 0.  N/A

Overpriced: 0.  N/A

Bad service: +1.  I found no reports of this.

Total score; 5

Unauthorized charges:  I found no reports of this.  DOW accepts PayPal, a good sign.

Conclusion: Charity Navigator lists four charities with similar missions that are doing a better job.


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Consternated by The Hemp Nursery cannabidiol (CBD) capsules

People take CBD to treat pain, cancer, epilepsy, PTSD and neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease.  These are the diseases The Hemp Nursery exploits.  “Wow.  Some people disgust me,” writes “Braden.”

How to contact The Hemp Nursery:

Web Site: The Hemp Nursery
Company name; Greybeard Holdings
10407 N Commerce Parkway
Miramar Florida, 33025
Phone: 1-844-746-2560
Email: support@thehempnursery.com

April 10, 2018: There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices.  But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined.  I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.


Unauthorized charges (not scored):

  • The autoship “service” isn’t fairly explained.  A lot of people will be surprised to see a charge for their “free” sample followed by more charges every month.  So I’m turning on the CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!
  • The Hemp Nursery doesn’t accept PayPal.  That doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: +1. None found.

Suspicious location: +1. The address above is a real building.  As far as I can tell, it isn’t associated with any other dubious enterprises.hq

Onerous terms: -1

  • To avoid getting billed for your “free” sample, you have to cancel your subscription within 14 days from your order— not from the day you receive your sample.
  • To get a refund, you have to return the product unopened and unused within 30 days of your order (or, I’m guessing, the order they generate for you once you’re on autoship).  They’ll charge you a $10 restocking fee.
  • They charge you $2 for their use of a 60% recycled box to send you your first product.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0. The Privacy Policy is good as far as it goes.  But it only covers information collected online, not offline.  This seems to allow them to collect your address, etc. from offline contacts; and it isn’t clear whether email is considered offline.  How they use personal information collected in this way isn’t spelled out.

Lying and deception: -1

  • freeThe main page and order form say nothing about committing to an autoship (automatic re-order) subscription.  The payment information page explains the autoship business in small grayed-out print.  Customers who aren’t careful readers will consider these charges unauthorized.  What people don’t notice, in the small print you are actually signing up to a £4.95 initial trial which after 14 days is locked in and they will then withdraw £75 from your account,” writes “Braden.”
  • The web site says “Free Trial Bottle.”  But 15 days after your order, unless you cancelled your subscription, they bill you $75 for the trial sample.

Obfuscation:  -1  

  • A message about the number of other people looking at the offer covers the web page and gives the impression that you don’t have time to make a careful decision.  I also see: “Due to high demand our supplies are limited.  We are almost out of stock.  LOW STOCK; sellout risk HIGH.  Don’t get left behind!
  • You have to fill in personal information to find out the price ($85 a month).

Phony reviews: +1. None found.

Crummy product: 0. Unknown.

Overpriced: 0

  • The Hemp Nursery prices a 30-day supply at $80.  This works out to $2.66 a day.  Their web site only tells you generalizations about their product, making comparison to other alternatives difficult.  
  • In comparison, Elixinol offers a 30-day supply of CBD Hemp Oil capsules for $45, with no autoship hassle.  This works out to $1.50 a day.  That’s 44% cheaper than The Hemp Nursery.  Their web site shows the bottle’s back label, listing ingredients and amounts.

Bad service: -1.  After eight days I haven’t received a reply to my test email.

Total score; -1

Conclusion: When you see the word “Free,” run!  

Related:


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Beaten up by Nugenix testosterone booster

You know it’s safe, you know it’s trusted, you know it’s backed by science, so you know it works.

Actually I have serious doubt about Nugenix’s safety and backing by science; and trust is out the window.  How to contact this seller:

Web site: Nugenix
2323 South 3600 West
West Valley City, UT 84119
1-855-714-3234
Email: support@nugenix.com

March 30, 2018: There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored): CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!

  • The Terms and Conditions describe a $75-a-month autoship program.  You’re automatically enrolled in it if you order a “trial.”  It isn’t clear how you can make sure any product you purchase is not a “trial.”
  • It looks like Nugenix is another of those scammers who somehow repeatedly fail to cancel autoship subscriptions; and of course each failure is to their advantage.  “When I go to my mail box, there’s another bottle of NUGENIX. (RipoffReport)” “You just should not be able to take money out of someone’s account whenever you want to, and pretend that you are shipping any old product you feel like, even when you really aren’t shipping anything!! What can I do? (RipoffReport)”
  • Nugenix has the same address as InstaFlex.
  • They don’t accept PayPal; that doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  Some stretchers, but I see nothing ridiculous.

Suspicious location: -1.  A real building is reassuring; but it’s the same address as known scammer InstaFlex and several other dubious enterprises.

Onerous terms: -1

  • To get a refund, you have to return the product within 30 days from your order — not from when you receive it.
  • You have to return the product unopened and unused (unless you got it thru an autoship subscription).
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.
  • They don’t guarantee that the product is fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll spam, robocall and text you at your expense; you can opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal information with other companies that will do the same; you can opt out.
  • If they sell their company, your personal data is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1.  The website clothes itself in medical and scientific reassurances; “Allow me to introduce you to a medical mastermind by the name of Dr. Paul Clayton …”  Yet the Terms say “We provide information on the website for informational purposes only.  It is not meant as a substitute for the advice of a doctor or other health care professional.

Obfuscation: -1

  • You have to drill down four pages and enter personal information in order to find out the price ($70).
  • They don’t tell you how much active ingredient is in a capsule, or how many capsules are in a “serving,” or how many capsules are in the bottle.  In photos they conceal the capsule count.  This photo positions a bottle in front of the box to hide the capsule count.  Amazon gives you the capsule count and shows it on the bottom right corner of the box.  The bottle’s label also has a capsule count, but it’s printed too small to be legible in the photo.
  • Important parts of the Terms and Conditions are printed in hard-to-read upper case.

Phony reviews: +1.  None found.

Crummy product: 0

  • Rated 3.4 stars by 940 Amazon customers.  “It works almost Immediately.  Great for energy boost.  Perfect before working out.”  “Smell bad, burp up for a hour bad taste, and can’t tell a difference if I take or not.
  • Nugenix boasts about studies that support their assertions about the benefits of raising testosterone levels in older men, without citing any.  I found one study that concluded otherwise.  “High levels of circulating testosterone and low levels of SHBG—both within normal endogenous ranges—are associated with increased risks of prostate cancer.“(1).

Overpriced:  Nugenix is asking $70 for a bottle of 90 capsules.  That’s $0.77 per capsule.  Amazon offers the same Nugenix bottle for $40, or $0.44 per capsule.  

Amazon offers a 100-count bottle of Nature’s Way fenugreek seed (610mg of the main ingredient in Nugenix) for $8.  That’s $0.08 per capsule.  (Nature’s Way says nothing about its effect on testosterone.). Nature’s Way is 81% to 90% cheaper than Nugenix.  Because Nugenix doesn’t tell you the strength of their capsules, this is just a rough comparison.

Nature’s Way Fenugreek doesn’t contain other ingredients of Nugenix–zinc and vitamins B6 and B12.  But you could make those up by taking a multivitamin such as Vimerson Health Men’s Multivitamin.  Amazon carries a 60-capsule bottle for $19 ($0.32 per capsule).

Bad service: -1.  I see many complaints about the difficulty of canceling autoship, and about employees who try to talk customers out of canceling or don’t do what they say they’re doing.

  • I was looking at my bank statement while on the phone with them. I saw another charge for some face cream, and noticed that the phone number was the same as Nugenix , only I never received any face cream! I argued with the “girl” on the phone for twenty minutes, until she finally said that she would refund ALL of my money. Well, that never happened, and I received another bottle of Nugenix today! (RipoffReport)”
  • I have yet been notified if it has been shipped or any explanation as to why they overcharged me. I tried calling the number supplied to me by my charge card and only got options (1,2,3,4) and none of them worked. no human contact at all! (RipoffReport)”

Total score; -5

Conclusion: Drinking water while working out works for me.


1: Peter H. Ghan, “Prospective Study of Sex Hormones and Risk of Prostate Cancer,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 88, Issue 16 (21 August 1996): 1118–1126.

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Bitten by DentalBrightPro teeth whitener

Let’s talk about shining light in dark places, in more ways than one!

How to contact this seller:

Website: DeltalBrightPro
Company: BlueDrone
1005 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 3
Minneapolis MN 55405
Phone:844-840-3940
Email: info@dentabrightpro.com

March 27, 2018: There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored): CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  

  • Customers who aren’t careful readers can get sucked into DentalBrightPro’s autoship scheme.
  • DentalBrightPro uses the same address as Rejuvalex, so I assume they are really the same company.
  • DeltalBrightPro doesn’t accept PayPal; that doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: -1.  “Brighter, whiter teeth in just minutes.”  The Oral Health Foundation describes a similar home treatment.  It uses a custom mouth-guard made by a dentist; but suppose DentalBrightPro works just as fast.  How fast is that?  “This means regularly applying the whitening product over two to four weeks, for 30 minutes to one hour at a time.  However, there are now some new products which can be applied for up to eight hours at a time. This means you can get a satisfactory result in as little as one week.

Suspicious location: -1. The address listed above is a real building.  But it’s shared by notorious flashlight marketer Military Supply USA and a clutch of other dubious enterprises.

Onerous terms: -1

  • To get a refund, you have to return the kit within 30 days from your order — not from the day you receive it.  They charge a $10 restocking fee.
  • They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true.
  • You can’t sue them, but they can take you to court.
  • You can’t join a class action suit against them, or join a group arbitration.  But you can opt out of this clause within 30 days of buying or using the kit.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll beam ads at you and spam you.  I see no way to unsubscribe or opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your personal data is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1.  The web site advertises “FDA certified.”  But the Terms and Conditions say “The information (including, without limitation, advice and recommendations) on the website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Obfuscation: -1

  • Take a careful look at the order form; three pre-checked boxes will together cost you another $63, plus $50 a month.
  • Forms and coupons keep covering over the web page.

Phony reviews: 0.  Two dubious-looking testimonials.

Crummy product: -1.  The “Super LED whitening activator” doesn’t do anything.  From LiveScience: “… few studies have tested this theory to see what combinations of bleaches and wavelengths work best. A study published last month, in fact, in the Journal of Prosthodontics, found that light-activated and non-light-activated procedures did not differ significantly.  Similarly a separate study published in January in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences also found that light-activation didn’t improve bleaching.

Overpriced: -1.  DentalBrightPro prices their kits at $48 to $136.  Amazon offers a similar teeth-whitening kit for $15, with no autoship hassle.

Bad service: +1.  I found no reports of this.

Total score; -7

Conclusion: Don’t.


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Forgot about Procera Memory Support

Procera products should not e downgraded as a scam. Much scientific research went into the development of these fully tested products,. Shame on whomever intimted Procera on this site s a scam, for not doing our own unbiased research.” – DrEricksonPhD

March 25, 2018: I received the above in response to my post about Consumer Rewards Hub.  I didn’t mention Procera in that post, but now that Dr. Erickson PdD has my attention this looks like a good time to do my own unbiased research.

How to contact this seller:

Website: Procera / company overview*
Company: Keyview Labs / Brain Research Labs LLC
5737 Benjamin Center Dr
Tampa, Florida  33634-5239
Phone: 1-800-213-4101
Email: info@procerahealth.com

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 6.27.23 PM*Warning: My BitDefender blocks Procera’s home page.  Apparently BitDefender thinks it’s dangerous to view that page.  however, ScamAdviser says “High trust rating.  This site looks safe to use.

There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored):  I see data sharing, autoship and order form issues.  CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  

  • Procera shares your credit card data with other companies; see “Ads, Spam, Robocalls” below.
  • Procera is also apparently running an autoship scam.  So there’s a risk of getting unwanted monthly packages and charges on your credit card.  From Ripoff Report: “It is sad that a company such as this can put you on an autoship without your consent-and you, the consumer ends up being tasked with returning the product, taking time from your day to do so when you did not ask for the product to be shipped a second time. Did the product work? No it did not-gave me massive headaches.
  • From PissedConsumer; “they charged my credit card again and shipped a second order without my permission or a reorder on my part. … They would not refund the full price charged but only half. I really got scre**D by these people. Beware!
  • It looks like Procera’s web site grabs order and credit card information before you click Submit.  From PissedConsumer; “One day an ad for Procera AVH came up on my computer.I filled out an order for “memory improvement medicine”.  I changed my mind before I submitted it. I “x”ed out and thought that cancelled the order. Two days later $234.65 was deducted from my checking account. I called the company and they said to return the box that was in the mail at that time and my account would be credited.  I did just that and now they claim they never received the box.  I am out of the money and they have their pills back.  What do you call that?
  • Procera doesn’t accept PayPal; this doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  None found.

Suspicious location: +1.  The address listed above is a real building.  No other businesses are located here.

Onerous terms: 0.  I can’t find a Terms And Conditions document.  “Privacy Policy And Terms And Conditions” is really just a privacy policy.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll spam, junkmail and robocall you.  You can opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal information with other companies that will do the same, including your credit card number.  From Procera’s Privacy Policy: “… we may disclose your personal information, including information such as your shipping address, billing information, telephone number, and credit card information to nonaffiliated third parties not controlled by KeyView Labs.
  • If they sell their company, your personal data is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1

  • A Leader In Cognitive Health” is the headline over a picture of medical professionals having a friendly meeting in a sunny room.  Which of them is Dr. Erickson?  As it turns out, none of them.  This is clip-art, for sale on iStockPhoto.com.
  • Procera displays the FDA logo along with the disclaimer “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.”

Obfuscation: +1.  None found.

Phony reviews: +1.  None found.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: -1.  Procera prices one bottle of Memory Support, 30 tablets (30 servings) at $35.  That’s $1.67 per serving.  Each tablet contains 350mg of “Memory support blend.”  Amazon offers this product for $25, which is $1.20 per serving.

For comparison, Amazon offers one bottle of Panax Ginseng + Gingko Biloba, 60 tablets (30 servings) at $20.  Each two-tablet serving contains 460mg of active ingredients.  That’s $0.67 per serving.  Panax contains the same active ingredients as does Procera.  It’s 42% cheaper, and delivers 31% more active ingredients per serving.

Bad service: 0.  Complaints are more focused on monetary issues than on service.  From Ripoff Report; “Every time I have called the company, they have excuses and could care less that I don’t want this product.

Total score; 1

Conclusion: Stay clear of these guys.  And don’t try to fix yourself with unknown pills you get online; see a real doctor.


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Scratching my head about Rejuvalex hair revitalizer

Then they sent another bottle saying I checked auto ship. I did no such thing. Their whole business is fraudulent.

The quote above is from PissedConsumer.  How to contact Rejuvalex:

Website: Rejuvalex
Company: BlueDrone
1005 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 3
Minneapolis MN 55405
Phone: 844-840-3940
Email: info@rejuvalex.com

March 24, 2018: There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored): CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  While the Terms and other small print explain what’s going on, customers who don’t read it carefully will likely get blindsided by the autoship subscription.

  • From PissedConsumer; “I was asked to fill a survey and told there was a reward for it.I filled the survey and was asked to choose a reward in return for postage fee.  I chose the anti-aging trial. Rejuvenex have since deducted postal fee and additional money from my account. The company has sent me five packages as of today.
  • From ScamBook; “On the very last page of the multi page add in the smallest font not possible to see is the disclaimer. Not good! Should be on 1st page with same font!
  • From RipoffReport; “My wife returned rejuvalex product on 12/04/17 we have been not been rembursed for as of yet (90 days out ) now now I find they have charging us for flex trainer / iron work out plan E magzine which she was unaware of when she order rejuvalaex.
  • They don’t accept PayPal; that doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  Seems pretty low-key.  There are some stretchers here, tho.

Suspicious location: -1.  The address above is a real building.  But it’s shared by notorious flashlight vendor Military Supply USA and its ilk under BlueDrone’s umbrella.hq

Onerous terms: -1

  • Your order automatically subscribes you to monthly bills for and shipments of Rejualex until you cancel.
  • For a refund, you have to return the product within 30 days from your order — not from when you receive it.  They charge a $10 restocking fee.
  • If you’re disputing the product’s description or packaging, you have to return it unused and unopened.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them or join a group arbitration, unless you opt out of this clause within 30 days of ordering or using the product.
  • They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1.

  • They’ll spam, junkmail and text you.  You can opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your personal data is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1.  The devil is in the details.

  • Claim your free bottles.”  “Tell us where to send your free bottles.”  Read “Free” as “Bait” to understand the free trial – autoship scam that’s being set up here.  To proceed, you have to fill out a personal information questionnaire.  Now you advance to the order form; It offers several choices, each of which involves sending money.  It’s headed “Try it today absolutely risk-free!”  This offer is “risk-free” (maybe), not “free;” you’ll pay for every bottle of Rejuvalex you get.
  • If you go with the default order form selection “Buy 3, get 2 free” for $30 each, your total bill is $150, not $90 as it should be if two bottles were really free.
  • “If for ANY reason you are not thrilled with your results simply return your order for 100% of your money back (minus shipping).”  But the Terms state that they’ll also subtract a $10 “restocking fee.
  • Rejuvalex is marketed as a treatment for alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair damage and loss.  The web site says Rejuvalex guarantees hair regrowth.”  Dermatologist recommended.”  But the Terms state “THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE ADVICE, OR TO BE USED FOR MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT, FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM.

Obfuscation: -1

  • In order to find out the cost ($56), you have to fill out a personal information questionnaire. Move your pointer off the page to get a coupon for another $10 off.
  • Careful with that order form.  A quantity of five bottles ($150) is pre-filled.

Phony reviews: -1.  Friendly reviews by shills like FriendlyLook and BetterHealthOrganization are easy to spot; they have large graphical links to their sponsors’ web sites.

Crummy product: -1.  From PissedConsumer; “I used this product one time and my face got very red and my forehead started to peal.”  36 Amazon customers rated Rejuvilex an average 2.7 stars.  “You are not going to get any breakthrough hair restoration formula, Vitamin A and B, plus biotin is all you are going to get for a ridiculously high price, which you can get at the store for $5.”  “I ran out. I ordered another bottle. I seems to be working.

Overpriced: 0.  Rejuvalex prices one bottle at $56.  Amazon carries it for $40, and no hassle with autoship.

Bad service: +1.  I found no reports of this.

Total score; -5

Conclusion: This is a scam.  Also it’s risky to take mail-order pills; they may have different ingredients than advertised, or they may be contaminated.  See a doctor, or try wearing a hat.

Bloopers:

  • HealthProuds.com confusedly warns “Baldness makes each individual feel greater than he really is.
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Blinded by AlumiTact X700 flashlights (2018)

Was a gift so im not really out any money but I’d sure be pissed if i bought one of these.


Love this flashlight. It is everything it says it is. This seems to be the last flashlight I will have to buy.

Quotes are from Amazon reviews.  How to contact this seller:

Website: X700
Company: Military Supply USA
1005 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 3
Minneapolis MN 55405
Phone: 888-666-0984
Email: info@militarysupplyusa.com

March 23, 2018: What’s changed since my post about this company in 2016?  They raised the prices.  There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored): CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  

  • Rejuvalex is running a free sample/autoship scam, so I’ve turned on the red light for them.  MS has the same address as Rejuvalex, so I assume they are the same company.
  • One thing I am hearing from people falling for the scam is that many of them never receive anything for their money, which isn’t too surprising,” writes The Outdoor Nerd.
  • They don’t accept PayPal; that doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: -1.

  • We had to open up a second factory just to keep up with the massive amounts of orders coming in.”  Would that be in China?
  • … flash a blinding strobe light into the attacker’s eyes, leaving them ‘disoriented beyond belief.’
  • … designed primarily for military and police units …
  • 75% discount.

Suspicious location: -1.  Military Supply USA has moved since last I checked.  The address listed above is a real building.  But …hq

… there’s so much going on behind door #3.  Other users of this address are an exotic menagerie, featuring lawyers; so perhaps I should be more cautious than usual in what I write about this place? Several of these cohabitants look sketchy enough to charge MS a point for “Suspicious location,” and should reward further investigation:

  • David Schulman Law Office
  • DentalBrightPro (teeth whitening)
  • Stryke Design
  • Rejuvalex (advanced hair growth)
  • Blue Drone (order fulfillment)
  • Snyder Law Firm Ltd.
  • RE-Dwell (homebuilding)
  • DermaBellix (skin tag remover)
  • Borealis Philanthropy
  • RealCOO (real estate file management)
  • Elmcrest Property LLC (building operators)

Onerous terms: -1

  • For a refund, you have to return the flashlight within 30 days from your order — not from when you receive it.  See “Bad Service” below.  They charge a $10 restocking fee.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them or join a group arbitration, unless you opt out of this clause within 30 days of ordering or using a flashlight.
  • They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll beam ads at you and spam, junkmail, robocall and text you at your expense.  You can opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.  You have to contact those companies to unsubscribe.
  • If you registered on a Do Not Call list, hahahaha!

Lying and deception: -1

  • You can pay for your order with PayPal.  Or can you?  It isn’t an option on the order form.  This means MS is in control of how much and how often you pay.
  • They came on Wednesday, and I am absolutely blown away by the quality of the light,” writes verified purchaser Brian Moriceon, who is not an actual person.  His photo is clip-art, for sale on 123rf.com.

Obfuscation: -1

  • A countdown timer suggests that you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • The web site shows pictures of two different X700 flashlights.  Which one will you get?
  • You have to drill down three pages to find out the price ($56).  Move your mouse pointer out of the page to get a coupon to save even more.
  • Careful with that order form; it’s pre-filled for a quantity of five flashlights.  It doesn’t show the total amount of the charge, only that they are $27 each and two of the five are “free.”  Will your charge be $81 or $135?  Based on what else I’ve seen on this web site, I’m guessing $135 at least.  The word “free” means nothing to scammers.  If you have experience here, please reply and let me know if I’m right.

Phony reviews: -1.  Shill FlashlightPedia writes “The X700 is designed and manufactured in the United States in Minneapolis under the highest US factory standards.”  This “review” has large graphical links to MS’s website.  The Outdoor Nerd reveals that these flashlights are actually made in China.

Crummy product: -1.  Rated 2.7 stars by 25 Amazon customers.  “Piece of junk, used 4 times on and off button breaks. Only 30 day warranty. Military USA supply wanted more money to resolve, never improve switch. They will not help you in anyway.”  From RipoffReport; “The light supplied by the flashlight was indeed superior to other flashlights in its class, as advertised, but its cheap, shoddy manufacture does not make up for that at the specified price charged.

Overpriced: -1.  MS prices one flashlight at $56.  Amazon carries the same flashlight for $35.  I see a remarkably similar 900-lumen flashlight on Amazon for $8.

Bad service: -1

  • From Better Business Bureau; “Flashlight purchased broke after 2 days on second time use. Want me to buy a separate warranty for 2/3 cost of flashlight. wont make good on product.
  • From PissedConsumer; “It took about 3 weeks to get the flashlights and then after about a couple weeks I decided I wanted to return them. So I called the company and they said….”it’s too late, you have 30 days from the day of your order”. Not the day you receive them, but the day of your order. Yet they take 3 weeks to get to you.
  • Another; “I returned it to the address indicated on the packing slip, the same day as received, AT MY EXPENSE. When after some time passed, and I hadn’t received full credit, I called Military Supply USA and was told that they didn’t receive it.  I checked the tracking number online which showed that they DID receive it.  I’m still waiting for $35.00 to be credited back to my account!
  • From RipoffReport: “Called customer service. Guy didn’t care and I think he gets called alot.

Total score; -10

Conclusion: Buy a flashlight at a hardware store.  And forget about blinding and hitting people with it.


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