If you see an ad for the Raspberry Ketone Diet with a picture of the singer Adele in it, you might think to yourself, “Well, she did slim down and she's a straight shooter, so it must be safe and effective.”
Think again. Adele never gave permission to that company to use her name and image in a sales pitch for the supplement.
Plus, there are no legitimate studies showing raspberry ketones promote weight loss in humans.
Unfortunately, that's just one example of the many online scams that falsely associate celebrities with dubious health and wellness products.
In a new study published in the journal Future Cardiology, Dr. Oz joined forces with colleagues from Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and Dow University of Health Sciences in Karachi, Pakistan, to expose the need for tough pushback against this shady practice that endangers consumers' health.
To help you figure out how to spot these fake endorsements, the researchers lay out four warning signs:
1. Avoid products with ads that say “as seen on” or “as aired during” any TV show.
2. Steer clear of ads showing the product next to a celebrity — it's a clue that the image has been dropped in. In most real endorsements, the celebrity will be interacting with the product.
3. Look at the packaging. Low-quality presentation and misspellings are classic signs of fakes.
4. If the product claims to be or to have been advertised on a news site, check the address of the website. For instance, the site for Forbes should be forbes.com, not phorbes.com.