The Trick of the “1 Trick of a Tiny Belly” Ads is that They are Part of a Massive Scam, say Feds

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The only way that you could have missed the “1 trick of a tiny belly” or “One tip to a tiny belly” ads that have been everywhere – absolutely everywhere – on the Internet would be if you hadn’t been on the Internet yourself. Well it turns out that those “1 tip” ads, some of which tout “Cut down a bit of your belly everyday by following this 1 weird old tip”, are part of a massive network of scams which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has uncovered.

Because these ads have appeared on some very well-known and trusted sites, including Facebook and the Washington Post, made all the worse by the their being linked to bogus news reports of how well the product supposedly works, many many people have fallen for them. The fake articles are hosted on sites with names such as ConsumerOnlineTips.com and WeeklyHealthNews.com.


tiny-belly-1 tiny-belly-ad-2 tiny-belly-3

Many of the ads look exactly the same and that’s because, says David O’Toole, an attorney with the FTC, “because it’s cheap. They don’t have to create a new ad from whole cloth. It’s easy to use it again and again because it keeps costs down. And it works.”

And that last part is the most important part: it works – in fact it works even when all a customer orders is the free sample – and that’s because even the free sample ends up costing hundreds of dollars. Customers who order the free samples overlook the teeny tiny print that says that their credit card (which they have to give for “shipping and handling”) will be billed $79 a few weeks later, and $79 again a few weeks after that, and so on, until they call to cancel it – that is, call a number that often doesn’t work.

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The Feds estimate that all told, the various affiliates running these scam ads have taken in at least $1 billion, so far! We say “so far” because many of these ads are still running, and the reason that the ads are still running is because so many different affiliates are using the same ads, that many of them are not (yet) the subject of the the FTC’s lawsuits.

But make no mistake – the one trick of the tiny belly ads is that the only thing that is going to lose weight is your wallet.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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4 thoughts on “The Trick of the “1 Trick of a Tiny Belly” Ads is that They are Part of a Massive Scam, say Feds

  1. Hello! My dearly departed gmother said and she was referring to the scams of “the great depression” If it sounds too good to be true etc. Any ad that dangles a freebee just for your email and credit info is trolling and as the figures prove they are over their limit for keepers. The net is a wonderful chance to keep in touch with old friends, meet new ones, even find your soulmate, or lose your hard earned dollars. Its only when “we the people” get off our collective asses and start to do what we assume our governing bodies are doing that our great nation will return to deserving the “great” adjective that has been bestowed. America! Love it or leave it! Change it or lose it! Do nothing and no telling who your neighbor will be!

  2. So what are the various agencies, both government and otherwise, doing about this scam?

    Have they any hope of catching them?

    And are credit card firms and banks not doing anything to help their clients? (They do get a “cut” of every dime you spend on your card, you know!)

    So where the heck is Seal Team 6 when a real enemy pops up?

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