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The modern version of snake oil
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Depending on how you roll, if you are on social media someone has probably tried to sell you some version of snake oil or some valuable swampland in Florida.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, hosts scam ads that show Oprah Winfrey endorsing weight-loss supplements or gummies, some containing CDB or described as keto friendly. (Users are encouraged to report suspicious ads to be reviewed.) reports it has published two previous reports debunking these rumors, the first one on Dec. 15, 2021. “Apparently, it’s the scam that never ends,” the fact-finding website reports.

At the other end of the spectrum, NBC News reports that supporters of Donald Trump are being sold memorabilia under false pretenses. “Trump Bucks” with photos of the former president have been advertised online “as a kind of golden ticket that will help propel Trump’s 2024 (presidential election) bid and make the ‘real patriots’ who support him rich when cashed in.” 

NBC News spoke to a man who said he bought $2,200 worth of Trump Bucks and discovered they were worthless when he tried to cash them in at a bank.

The NBC report could apply to more than Trump Bucks. It notes that “on social media and in promotional videos – many featuring faked celebrity endorsements – the sellers have tapped an audience that believes ...”

Fake celebrity endorsements aren’t new but they are being used in increasing numbers to scam the public. AARP warns: “If you get a direct message out of the blue from a favorite musician, actor or athlete, don’t get starry-eyed, get skeptical; it’s almost certainly a scam.” 

Scammers use a variety of psychological tactics to part us from our money. The best defense is to question extraordinary claims and seek an objective person’s advice before investing in something that sounds too good to be true.