Of all the web-scam victims, I am most in awe of those who gulp down stuff they get in the mail from unknown companies with no idea what it is. On February 18, 2017, let’s take a look at one of these outfits, Alpha Monster Advanced (red links are evil–do not click). Looking over the scam site, I can see that this one’s going to get our Scam-O-Meters clicking! It’s the free trial scam.
Ridiculous claims: -1
- They’re about to run out of the stuff; yet they’re giving it away “free.”
- You’ll get muscles. “Increase muscle mass. Explosive workouts.“
- You’ll get more sex. “Almost every man can benefit from a boost in free testosterone to intensify his experience in the gym and in the bedroom.” “Helps enhance sexual stamina.” “Feel more desire and maximize your potential.” Etc.
- All you have to do is drink the stuff (re: “How It Works”) to get results.
Post Office box: -1. They don’t even try to hide it. P.O. Box 61553, Savannah, GA 31419
Onerous terms: -1
- The sample is a 30-day supply. But they’ll charge the full price ($90) unless you cancel your purchase within 14 days after your order (not after you receive the product).
- They’ll charge another $90 every month and send you a new bottle until you cancel.
- They don’t guarantee that the product is fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.
- Unless you opt out in 30 days, you can’t sue them or join a class-action that’s suing them.
Ads, spam, robocalls: -1
- They’ll use all the information you give them, and all they can suck out of your browser, to beam ads at you.
- They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.
- If the company is sold, your personal data will be part of the deal.
- You can opt out of some use of your data by email.
Lying and deception: -1
- They don’t show the price, even after you enter personal information. They only show the shipping charge. (The price is in the Terms document.)
- They don’t disclose that you’re signing up for a subscription when you order a free sample. (This too is buried in the Terms document.)
- They don’t tell you what’s in the product, other than “Powerful ingredients.”
- Once you’ve entered personal information, you can no longer read the first page. The browser’s back-button is disabled. (This is a big red flag.)
- The second page displays a count-down timer to make you think you don’t have time to research the product.
Phony reviews: -1. Written by people you never heard of before, these reviews are wildly enthusiastic, yet vague. There’s no evidence that they’ve tried the product. They have prominent links to the seller’s web site. In short, they are advertising. Examples:
- Healthy Apple Chat wastes no time; “Have you ever had the feeling that your wife is not really happy with your physical intimacies in bed?” Their use of the scammer’s promotional art work casts further doubt on their veracity.
- Oral Health Plus‘ author claims to have used the product, tho it seems somewhat removed from his specialty. The site is festooned with Alpha Monster art and links.
- Muscle Health Fitness claims “The supplement is 100% safe and is approved by the FDA for daily usage.” But Alpha Monster themselves admit in small print “This product has not been evaluated by the FDA.“
To Alpha Monster’s credit, I also found some real reviews:
- Consumer Health Digest reveals the ingredients.
- Supplements Watch discusses the free-trial, auto-ship business.
Crummy product: 0. I don’t have any information about this.
Overpriced: -1. They don’t tell you how much product you’ll receive; only that it’s a 30-day supply. However, the bottle is labeled “60 capsules.” Amazon doesn’t sell Alpha Monster Advanced. However, they offer a 60-capsule bottle of Alpha Boost which touts the same benefits for $20–and no hidden subscription. That’s 22% of the Alpha Monster price. 471 reviewers gave Alpha Boost an average of 4.6 stars.
Unauthorized charges: +1. Ripoff report has one complaint re: the hidden subscription. I found no complaints at the Better Business Bureau.
Final Scam-O-Meter score; -7
If you think this kind of supplement is for you, shop local, or get it from Amazon.