Dangerous supplements: 22 products, spam, and fake doctors
Overpriced spam supplements hurt the wallets of people who fall for them and can also harm their health. They promise unproven effects, list recommendations from non-existent doctors, and hide the seller’s identity. I have managed to uncover a network of sites with 22 dubious supplements. You can find an overview of them in the second part of the article.
Although the products’ ingredients may be harmless, the way they sell them is far beyond the bounds of decency and, in some cases, the law. With this article, I want to warn people who are considering buying a dangerous dietary supplement and looking for more information about it.
How to spot a seller of unsafe dietary supplements
In preparing this article, I analysed hundreds of websites in different languages that sold shoddy dietary supplements. They repeated unfair and immoral practices to persuade the visitor to buy the product. The more elements listed below the sales page, the more likely it is a scam.
⚠️ “50% off today only”
Dietary supplements are often sold at a 50% discount to persuade users to buy. In addition, there is often a countdown for the duration of the promotion, with the time expiring at midnight.
In reality, the countdown resumes immediately after midnight – there is no discount promotion. This is a method to pressure the visitor to order the product now. Moreover, they never offer the product at the original price.
⚠️ Unrealistic effects of the supplements sold
AlcoBarrier alcohol addiction tablets are supposed to restore damaged liver cells, ReCardio is supposed to lower blood pressure, and SugaNorm is supposed to eliminate the negative effects of diabetes.
These are dangerous claims with possible negative effects on the users health. I did not find either of the products listed below on the list of medicines approved by the Institute for Drug Control. Although the sellers talk about clinical testing and proven effects, there is no independent record anywhere.
⚠️ Recommendations from doctors and experts
Doctors with many years of experience recommend dietary supplements. For example, the Nicozero smoking cessation drops, an expert in narcology with twenty-one years of experience recommends it. For the potency supplement, it is a urologist with thirteen years of experience.
I checked the names listed in the register of doctors; there is no one like that. Through a reverse search, I found that the portraits of the doctors came from a photo library or reputable doctors’ websites. In different countries, the same person in the photo has different names. For example, the mentioned expert in narcology appears as Miroslav on one site; on another, he is a urologist named Petr.
⚠️ Product user experience and reviews
There is no shortage of highly complementary reviews on most sites from the products users who cannot praise their experience with it. They have a commonly used name and photo.
The user reviews are fictitious – as with the doctors’ recommendations. The names of the praising customers are always local, sounding Spanish in Spain, German in Germany, and Czech in the Czech Republic. It is obvious they downloaded portraits of the users from the internet.
⚠️ Multiple stores offer the accessories, they are recommended on a number of sites
Products from this article are usually sold on multiple sites (domains) and in different languages. You can find favourable product reviews on many sites, often masquerading as independent news outlets.
In all likelihood, a single entity is behind both the sales pages and the “independent” review sites, as suggested by the domain registry entries, the site source code, and other evidence. Reviews on third-party websites persuade users to purchase by finding out more about the product. In essence, this is a form of marketing; creating another website or buying an advertorial is not difficult.
⚠️ It is not obvious from the website who the seller is
None of the sites that offer the listed dietary supplements clearly state the operator. The name, address, identification, and other contact details are missing. In some countries, the website operator is thus in breach of applicable laws. You request a given product by filling in a name and telephone number.
If a contact is on the page, it is an online form. It is not obvious at a glance where the information is sent.
In the footer of some shops, it says ‘Global Partners LTD’ or ‘BERNADATTE LTD, Av Ricardo J. Alfaro, Panama International’. The latter company exists, but I could not establish a connection with the products mentioned.
⚠️ Poor translation of the website
Websites selling dietary supplements are machine translated into other languages. Although the quality of such translations is gradually improving, the texts appear unnatural to native speakers. Nevertheless, product descriptions, customer quotes, and other content show they translated them.
⚠️ Who is behind spam and dangerous dietary supplements
As seen above, the site’s operator does everything to remain secretive. This is no surprise, as his actions violate many laws in various countries.
An analysis of the website, domain name servers, links between sites, and other data suggests that the seller originates from Russia. The same entity also offers the EcoEnergy socket along with food supplements.
Warning: Keep your hands off these supplements and products
According to our indications, one entity sells the following products. The sales pages contain the same elements, have similar graphic designs, and all promote the products through spam, among other means. Therefore, I strongly recommend not buying them.
AlcoBarrier / Alco Barrier Against Alcoholism
On the website, the seller promises that the AlcoBarrier product eliminates cravings for alcohol, restores damaged liver cells, or removes toxins from the body.
The AlcoBarrier product is promoted by, among others, MedicalBlog.cz. The domain is in the name of Marian Wieczorek, ul. Pandzy Piotra 148, 45-552 Opole, Poland. However, we cannot verify the identity so it may be a fictitious name
ReCardio for High Blood Pressure
The product’s ReCardio sales page states that it helps to lower blood pressure. In various languages, the ReCardio supplement is recommended by “Dr. Jan Drahokoupil, a ninety-eight -year-old cardiologist who looks no older than sixty”. According to the Czech Medical Chamber’s database of doctors, no such doctor exists. The photo of the alleged doctor was from a databank.
SugaNorm / Suga Norm for the Treatment of Diabetes
The shoddy sales page promises that the SugaNorm product helps treat diabetes. It is supposed to “restore the balance of substances in the body and eliminate the negative effects of diabetes”. Again, we recommend avoiding SugaNorm tablets out of an arch. On various sites, they sell the tablets in packages with different graphics.
SugaNorm is to be recommended by the doctor-endocrinologist Lukáš Beránek, candidate of medical sciences. Again, this is a fictitious name, no such doctor exists. For the photo of the same “doctor” on the Italian website, the name Rodolfo Lorenzi is listed, in the Russian version, Danilov Yuri Petrovich.
Detonic/Detonic Powder for High Blood Pressure
The website selling Detonic states that the product “normalizes blood pressure within the first six hours thanks to bioflavonoid” or that it “restores tone and elasticity to blood vessels”. Potentially dangerous is the claim that Detonic has no side effects.
Sites promoting Detonic include ZajimaveUceni.cz. The domain holder is Marie Jarošová, Stožická 21, Dražice, Czech Republic. The administrative contact is Patryk Potapczuk, Terebelska 45/49, 21-500 Biała Podlaska, Poland. In both cases, they may not be real people.
Detonic recommends “Doctor of Higher Degree and Candidate of Medical Sciences” on various sales websites. While the Czech version of the site lists the name Ondřej Pumpr, the German site lists the name Patrick Zwanzger.
For example, the Czech State Agricultural and Food Inspection warns against Detonic.
HondroStrong / Hondro Strong for Joint Pain
The sales page states that Hondrostrong cream helps fight joint pain, arthritis, and arthrosis. It is supposed to eliminate pain, reduce inflammatory conditions, remove swelling and bruising, or eliminate the feeling of stiffness.
HondroStrong is not a medicinal product, so they have not tested its effectiveness and safety in clinical trials. The Vesmirna-Drubez.cz website promoting Hondro Strong lists Lucjan Skonieczka, Srebna 7/12, Warsaw, Poland, as the technical contact. As in other cases, it is likely that this is not a real person.
CardioActive / Cardio Active Heart Attack and Stroke Drops
According to the website’s claims, CardioActive drops are supposed to normalise blood pressure and heart rhythm, clear cholesterol from blood vessels, and restore their tone.
The sales pages state a therapist and cardiologist with 30 years of medical experience. However, while on the Czech site, it lists him as Karel Válek, the name Dr. Roberto Fernandes is listed next to the same photo on the Spanish site. Moreover, according to the Czech Medical Chamber, there is no doctor with the name “Karel Válek”.
Ophthalmaks to Improve Vision
Some sales pages present OphthalMaks as a “vision-improving drug” that is supposed to improve and sharpen vision. However, OphthalMaks is not registered or approved as a medicinal product.
Nicozero Smoking Cessation Spray
Nicozero spray is supposed to reduce cigarette cravings and effectively cleanse the body of carcinogens that cause lung and larynx cancer. The sales website states that Nicozero is free of side effects and has been laboratory tested.
However, Nicozero does not appear in the Register of Medicinal Products. These are strong and potentially dangerous claims; we strongly recommend not buying the product.
There is also a doctor’s recommendation on the site, which is “narcology expert Dr. Pavel”. On the sales page of another shoddy Adamour product, the same person poses as “urologist specialist Dr. Petr”. The photo is from the website of the German Medical Congress, the real name of the person in question is Prof. Dr. Med. Ralf Lobmann.
Adamour Pills for Instant Erection
Scammy sales sites declare that Adamour pills will help with improving erections and potency. In addition, Adamour is supposed to improve blood flow through erogenous zones, improve sensation during intercourse and increase sperm count. According to the sales website, Adamour does not cause clinically relevant side effects.
Again, we could not find Adamour on the list of approved medicines. However, on the sales website, it is recommended by “urologist Petr with thirteen years of experience”, who poses as “narcology expert Dr. Paul” on the website of another shoddy product.
NanoVein for Varicose Veins
Scammy sales pages present NanoVein as a gel for treating varicose veins. According to their claims, it is supposed to strengthen blood vessels, improve blood circulation and thus act as a treatment complex for varicose veins.
As with other dietary supplements, the scammers pass off the face from the photo bank as a supposed doctor. The name is different in different languages on the web: in the Czech Republic, Vratislav Kolínský; in Spain, Jorge Villazgo; and in Portugal, André Elias de Oliveira.
The NanoVein gel is offered by, among others, the Czech website Nanovein.cz, which has name servers set up in Russia. It is under the name Sergey Pogodaev with an address of Pokrovka 27, 105005 Moscow, Russia.
Idealica Drops for Fast Fat Burning
Another domain registered by the same entity offers the Idealica product. It is supposed to suppress appetite, lower sugar levels, reduce weight and burn fat quickly.
Some sites promoting Idealica drops state that the product “has no contraindications, which is due to the 100% harmlessness of the substances”. Although the website promotes Idealica drops as a “medicine”, we could not trace the product on the list of medicines approved by the European Union.
W-Loss for Removing Fat from the Abdomen and Hips
Once again, the same person and another product we strongly warn against buying. The W-Loss website advertises it as a 100% natural way to remove fat from your belly and hips without surgery in twenty-one days. The drops are supposed to remove dangerous internal fat from the body, reduce the amount of subcutaneous fat and block the absorption of simple sugars.
On one of the sales websites, there is a section labeled “clinical research results” where physician-dietitian Lukas Wohanka recommends the W-Loss product. This name is again fictitious; no such person exists in the Czech Republic. W-Loss is not even on the list of medicines approved by the European Union.
There are many more illogical connections on the website. For example, while the product photo shows W-Loss with passion fruit, the ingredients description lists pineapple, kumquat, and papaya.
The product seller’s connection to Russia is because they still need to translate the price section of the product page from Russian into English. On the same page, a non-existent company, ‘Global Partners LTD’, is in the footer.
HondroFrost for Joint Regeneration
A new wave of fraudulent products has seen the emergence of HondroFrost, which the seller claims is the “only nanotechnology product that naturally regenerates joints”.
HondroFrost gel is promoted, for instance, through the website Hand-Shakers.com, which misuses the symbol of the Czech Red Cross. The fictional Professor Liao Chan on the site promises that it “can cure osteochondrosis in just a few months”.
The main sales page for the HondroFrost product is Hondrofrost.eu, which contains deceptive elements mentioned in the article. In the Czech version of the website, “rheumatologist Pavel Valenta” speaks about the high efficacy of the HondroFrost gel. According to the Czech Medical Chamber’s database, no such person exists.
Scammers also use domains like MyNewsDesk.com, Hondrofrost.cz, CoronavirusEcuador.com, Poradimesi.cz, Krajeveu.cz, and Formulafina.com. The last-mentioned website pays for advertising on Google, which made it possible to uncover the identity of the operator. It’s a company called Masivo LLC registered in the USA under the name Saverio Juan Ivanovich.
Keramin Ointment for Psoriasis
In the summer of 2023, the deceptive product Keramin ointment, which, according to the seller, is said to defeat psoriasis, was introduced.
Fake reviews for Keramin appear on several sites that resemble, among other things, news portals or blogs. Keramin is sold, for example, on websites Nutra-Shop.com (operator Ecaterina Pascu, Romania) or HealthLabsPharm.com (operator Health Labs Express Limited from the UK). Reviews of the product can also be found on the websites KrajevEU.cz and CoronavirusEcuador.com, which clearly links Keramin with the HondroFrost product.
The Czech State Institute for Drug Control has listed Keramin among illegal and unapproved products, whose sale is prohibited in the Czech Republic.
Oculear for vision restoration
Oculear eye drops are used to prevent and restore vision, according to information on the Oculear.com sales site.
The site uses the same shoddy elements as previous products, promising unsubstantiated benefits of a dietary supplement that is sold “at 50% off” and featuring fictitious user reviews.
Oculear drops are recommended by “Dr Radek Pergl, an ophthalmologist with 13 years of experience”. According to the Czech Medical Chamber, no such doctor exists, the same photo is used for Insunol (Dr. Tomas, Endocrinologist), Gelarex (Dr. Martin, Proctologist) or Delislim (Dr. Josef, Nutritionist) supplements.
Other websites, sometimes posing as independent reviews or news portals, are also used to promote the drug and gain trust. Content is published on the domains Hand-Shakers.com, CoronavirusEcuador.com, CovidIbd.org, ProgenStudy.org, HarmoniqHealth.com or ThisisMap.com, among others. Oculear is also offered on web-based marketplaces, with Unicorn Brigade listed as a vendor.
Some sites offering Oculear use paid advertising on Google. These include HealthLabsPharm.com (advertiser Health Labs Express Limited), Health-Prod.pro (advertiser Piotr Feć FreshCore from Poland) or Best2019.eu (advertiser Code One Topolski Spółka Jawna from Poland).
NeoVeris gel for female varicose veins
NeoVeris gel for varicose veins in women belongs to the same group of shoddy products. On the sales pages, among the promised effects of the gel is the promotion of the treatment of hemorrhages, the strengthening of blood vessel walls, the reduction of blood clots or the elimination of soft tissue swelling. These effects are not supported by anything, we strongly recommend to keep your hands off Neoveris gel.
Sales sites Dogppatron.site, TopToEurope.com and others use aggressive and greedy methods to convince users to buy quickly. These include “50% off” the product, limited number of packs on sale, limited time offers or fake client reviews.
As with previous scam products, some sellers pay for Neoveris gel by advertising in Google searches. These are the same sites Dogppatron.site (unverified identity Marija Klimenko from Ukraine), BuyNowMe.eu (Code One Topolski Spółka Jawna from Poland) or HealthLabsPharm.com (Health Labs Express Limited from the UK).
Depanten for joint mobility in 30 days
Depanten gel promises mobile joints in 30 days, relieving pain and stimulating collagen synthesis. None of these effects have been independently confirmed, the seller of Depanten uses the same shoddy methods as with previous dietary supplements.
A limited time discount is offered on the RealtyExperts.pro sales page, which is continually extended. The same is true for the “number of packages that remain on sale”. Customers are also persuaded to buy by a countdown timer, when Depanten gel can be bought with a 50% discount, and fake reviews. In violation of the current legislation, no information about the seller is given on the website, the goods are ordered by filling in the name and phone number.
The composition of Depanten gel is supposed to contain Arnica Montana extract, menthol, eucalyptus essential oil and camphor oil.
Fake reviews and websites whose graphics are supposed to resemble news portals are used to promote Depanten gel. They can be found, for example, on TopToEurope.com, Best2019.eu or Arthrolon1.com. We strongly recommend that you do not order anything from these websites and do not provide any personal data to them.
The effects of the Depanten supplement are also supposed to be confirmed by “Dr. Karl Kirschmayer, head of the Berlin Tumorzentrum Eva Mayr-Stihl, a rheumatology centre. There is no such doctor. A photo of this doctor was first published on March 28, 2019 on a free photo blog with the caption “elderly posing businessman”.
Tonerin for normalised blood pressure and anti-hypertension
Tonerin capsules, offered by the same scumbags as the previous products, can be described as very dangerous.
The sales website TopToEurope.com states that Tonerin reduces the burden on the heart and circulatory system, normalises blood pressure and improves blood circulation in the brain. We strongly caution against Tonerin and its sales pages. The claims made on the site are not independently verified and, as in previous cases, unfair or immoral sales tactics are used.
The Czech State Institute for Drug Control or Czech Radio have publicly warned against sellers of Tonerin. To promote Tonerin, the fraudsters used the name of a well-known surgeon Jan Pirk, who has nothing to do with the product.
Gluconol capsules for diabetes
Gluconol capsules are claimed by the seller to stabilize sugar levels and stimulate insulin production. This is the same group of shoddy products that use fake reviews and unfair sales tactics that often violate the law.
We recommend staying away from Gluconol capsules for diabetes.
Among other things, the Gluconol-Capsules.com sales page gives the effect of a limited-time 50% discount with a limited number of packs on sale, which is nonsense. The discount is available all the time on an unlimited number of packs. The site features fictitious user reviews of the Gluconol product and endocrinologist recommendations from Dr. Jirka. No endocrinologist Jirka exists. For the Idealica product, the same person poses as a nutritionist, for the Titanium Gel he is a sex therapist, for the Wortex product he is a parasitologist Petr, and for the Neoveris gel, for example, a phlebologist Petr Pergl.
To gain credibility, the seller of Gluconol capsules uses a network of websites with fake reviews, some of which look like blogs or news portals. Very often the same domains as for previous products are used: ThisIsMap.com, CoronaVirusEcuador.com, Dianka.cz, Formulafina.com or AcareHealth.com.
For example, the website Foods on the pillory, run by the Czech State Agricultural and Food Inspection Authority, warned against Gluconol and its seller.
Ottomax Plus for hearing conservation
The dietary supplement Ottomax+ (sometimes referred to as Ottomax Plus) may improve hearing and eliminate tinnitus, promote normalization of the sleep-wake cycle, and help calm the nervous system, according to a promise on the TopToEurope.com sales page.
None of these effects have been independently verified, we recommend staying away from Ottomax Plus. The sales page uses a variety of illegal and immoral methods to persuade the visitor to buy. TopToEurope.com gives the impression that the product is on sale. It also displays “the names of customers who have just ordered the goods”, which results in “a decrease in the number of packages on sale”. This puts time pressure on the user. None of this is true, when the page is refreshed the count of goods on sale is restored to the original value.
Fake reviews and testimonials on Zpravy-24.com, Poradimesi.cz, ThisIsMap.com, CoronaVirusEcuador.com, Sedentexct.eu, Skaba.cz, VychovaKeZdravi.cz, Wellness4You.cz, RecenzeTop.cz, among others, are used to promote the product.
Revitaprost as a solution for prostatitis
A group of scumbags are offering the dietary supplement Revitaprost on the RevitaPorstLB.com website. The product is presented as a reliable solution to a delicate problem. According to the promises on the sales site, it eliminates the inflammatory process, gets rid of pain, normalizes urination and improves sex life. None of these effects have not been laboratory-verified, so we recommend to keep your hands off revitaPROST tablets.
The unfair methods on the sales website are virtually identical to those of previous products. The “expert opinion” is now presented by Ales Novotny, for whom no qualifications are given. According to a reverse search on Tineye.com, the photo first appeared online in 2013. It is very often published on Russian-language websites, where it presents the figure of a doctor.
Websites used to promote Revitaprost include ThisIsMap.com, CoronavirusEcuador.com, ProgenStudy.org, HarmoniqHealth.com, Hand-Shakers.com, CovidBD.org, Acarehealth.cz, KrajevEU.cz, among others.
Feronex to restore free testosterone levels
Feronex is another in a line of dietary supplements that you’re better off staying away from. The TopToEurope.com sales page presents the Feronex supplement as a chance to prolong youth. It states that Feronex helps restore testosterone levels, helps boost erections and helps stop the decline of strength.
The effects of the Feronex product have not been independently proven, its purchase is recommended to be avoided.
The same immoral methods are used on the sales website as for previous products. In addition, the logos of the American TV channels CNN and CNBC or Men’sHealth magazine are published. Visitors to the site are also supposed to be persuaded to buy by “Martin Venecek, men’s health expert”. No one like that exists, the photo is from a photo bank.
The black box displays information about fake orders and the decreasing number of packages left in the sale. Both of these figures are obviously fictitious. Their purpose is merely to put time pressure on the visitor to send in an order.
Feronex tablets are promoted through fake reviews and user experiences on Feronex.eu, SedentExct.eu, CoronavirusEcuador.com, Poradimesi.cz or ThisIsMap.com.
Have you ordered any of these products? I will be glad if you describe your experience in the comments or send it to me at email@example.com. I would especially appreciate photos of the products and packaging, information on where the shipment came from, and what other shoddy products you have encountered. That way, I can warn other readers; thank you.
The article about dangerous supplements was originally published in Czech by the same author. This post is a translation of it. Some details may vary in other countries.