Last month we reported that fans of Russell Brand were being targeted with a fake CBD brand supposedly launched by the star. It appears that the same tactics are now being used to dupe fans of the BBC series Dragons Den into buying a range of CBD products, including CBD gummies and CBD softgels.
leafie has seen ads on Facebook which claim that entrepreneur Peter Jones, one of the stars of Dragons Den, is backing CBD as a treatment for conditions such as arthritis.
As shown in the image above the same brand featured in the Russell Brand scam, Green CBD Gummies, features in a poorly edited photo behind Jones. Clicking on the advert directs users to a similar format landing page using a number of high-pressure tactics to convince customers to buy.
Echoing the tactics used in other fake celebrity endorsements, it appears the scammers are flooding the internet with fake content, including using keywords such as ‘scam’ in the hope of burying any genuine user reports flagging up issues.
Regardless of the celebrity used, the technique seems to follow the same pattern. Scammers create ads on Facebook targeting followers of specific celebrities, these ads take the user to fake content, claiming to be a report from a reputable news outlet covering the celebrities miracle product. The user is then directed to a website full of fake endorsements and reassurances that urges them to buy straight away.
Upon entering their bank card details, users are signed up to subscription service, often for hundreds of pounds more than they anticipated paying.
Members of the public who have contacted leafie after being scammed report that they are in most cases unable to contact anyone from the billing company, and that promised products never arrive.
The landing pages appear to change, offering different products and designs, presumably to avoid users searching for specific brand names and discovering user-generated content revealing the truth. Sadly, this tactic seems to be working.
If you have fallen for a fake celebrity CBD brand scam, it is imperative you contact your bank or credit card company straight away. According to Which? you may be able to ask your bank to get your money back through the chargeback scheme if you used a debit card.
If you used a credit card, you may be protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, or you may be able to initiate a chargeback.
Sadly, it appears the scam will continue to cycle through popular celebrities, changing product names and landing pages in the hope of avoiding attention. It always makes sense to check a person’s genuine social media accounts to see if they are talking about a product before you part with bank or card details, as often they’re aware of the scam and will issue a warning.