Dangerous supplements: 12 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 twelve 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 State Agriculture and Food Inspection or physician MUDr. Jiří Štefánek has warned against the AlcoBarrier product. Contact details, terms, and conditions were missing from the sales pages.
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.
The Czech Ministry of Health and physician Jiří Štefánek have also warned against ReCardio. The seller of ReCardio was also investigated by Hungarian police.
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.
This is a scam and a potentially dangerous product warned by, for example, Italian or Czech websites. The Czech Ministry of Health also issued a warning
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.
The Ministry of Health and the State Institute for Drug Control have warned against Hondrostrong.
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.
Warnings have been issued by, for example, the Slovenian government and the Greek National Organisation for Medicinal Products.
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.
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.
Cool page. FYI, I just captured this page and all its outlinks using the Internet Archive (in 1 step). That way, if any links stop working, it’s guaranteed that there’s a durable archive of them. Might be a good idea to do with your other pages too. Now that it’s done, you can edit all the links in the page (and the other translations thereof), adding the appropriate Archive dot org prefix to link to the archived page, knowing that they’ll work (as long as the site was live today or was previously archived.)
The prefix is https://web.archive.org/web/*/, so
if we use the first scammer link, https://www.stefajir.cz/alcobarrier,
and make the url, https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://www.stefajir.cz/alcobarrier, we SHOULD find that that URL is valid and is a faithful copy.
EXCEPT I SPOKE TOO SOON. https://web.archive.org/save/https://vpnwiki.com/en/dangerous-supplements# isn’t working. Most of the outlinks are failing to save; many “Save Page Now browser crashed on URL” errors and it looks like it won’t do more than 45 links per page?; I am seeking archiveteam help for getting a better archive.