I saw this article in PCWorld this morning and then searched to find the FTC Press Release.
Couple of key facts:
- FTC is a federal government agency that works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop and avoid them. Consumers can file complaints online or by calling 1877-382-4357.
- In this case, the FTC commissioners complained that the claims made by Sili Neutraceuticals, LLC, Brian McDaid and Kaycon, Ltd were false and unsubstantiated. The press release goes on to say:
the defendants falsely claimed that their supposed “hoodia” products cause rapid and substantial weight loss, including as much as forty pounds in a month; cause users to lose safely three or more pounds per week for multiple weeks; and cause permanent weight loss. In fact, the weight-loss claims were false. The complaint also charges that the defendants falsely claimed that their supposed HGH products would contain human growth hormone and/or cause a clinically meaningful increase in a consumer’s growth hormone levels. According to the FTC, the defendants also falsely claimed that their HGH products would turn back or reverse the aging process, including: lowering blood pressure, reducing cellulite, improving vision, causing new hair growth, improving sleep, improving emotional stability, speeding injury recovery, relieving chronic pain, increasing muscle mass, and causing fat and weight loss.
- In this case the FTC had received 85,000 emails sent on behalf of the operation.
- The operation used hijacked web forms to inject the message so as to make it appear as a message from the web site's mail server.
- They also violated the CAN-SPAM Act by initiating commercial emails that contained false and misleading headers, deceptive subject headings, no opt-out option and no physical postal address.
However, an FTC complaint is not a conviction. The restraining order and asset freeze were issued by the US District Court for Northern Illinois.