Curious to try CBD? Here's what you need to know about cannabidiol and CBD gummies, which can relieve anxiety, pain, and inflammation. This week we’ve found scams related to keto diet and CBD gummy supplements. Online shopping can offer prime real estate for scammers, including those who might play up the latest baby food shortage, as well as CBD gummy deals.
Are CBD Gummies a Scam, or Do They Really Work?
Last year, “CBD gummies” was the third most googled food in the entire U.S. So yeah, you’ve likely heard of these little nuggets that contain cannabidiol (aka CBD), the part of weed that chills you out but not the part that inspires you to down a party-size bag of Doritos. Maybe you’ve even heard reviews—from stoner and non-stoner friends alike—about how the non-hallucinogenic bites are ideal for erasing Big Stress Energy or helping you wind down before bed. And you’ve probably still got questions. Great, ’cause we’ve got answers.
Are you sure these work?
It does sound kinda like a scam, but solid scientific studies show that CBD can latch onto cells in your gut and immune system, relieving anxiety, pain, and inflammation, says Joseph Maroon, MD, a clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But that’s the pure stuff—there’s no legit research on the effectiveness of CBD in gummy form. In other words: They maybe work (at least, they did for our editors—see our own reviews below!).
Hey, FYI, we’re doing this SUPER-IMPORTANT survey on anxiety. Do us a solid and check it out here.
How many do I have to eat?
Figuring out whether you’ll need 2 or 10 to calm the hell down is (you guessed it) also a mystery, says Jeffrey Bost, a clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Start with one gummy per day. Nada? Try two. Still nada? Slowly up your dose until you get some results. It’s pretty tough to OD on CBD, says Bost. The worst side effects of very high doses are drowsiness and mood changes. (And pls note that the long-term effects are still TBD.)
Where can I even buy some (without, um, getting arrested)?
If you live in a state where all types of devil’s lettuce are legal, you can buy CBD gummies almost anywhere—even at some gas stations. For everyone else, there’s the interwebs. Amazon sells them and can ship to your door for about $40 (yeah, chillin’ ain’t cheap).
Is that legal? Again…sort of, says Franklin Snyder, a professor at Texas A&M University School of Law. Late last year, CBD made from legally grown jazz cabbage was bumped off the government’s list of seriously illegal drugs; the FDA even approved it to treat epilepsy. And while it’s now fine to sell CBD in a tincture, oil, or lip balm, technically companies still can’t put it in food. And gummies = food, says Snyder. That said, buying a bottle isn’t a crime.
How do I know if a brand is legit?
Call the company’s customer service and ask for its CBD quality test records, says Ashley Lewis, CEO and cofounder of Fleur Marché, a Sephora-like marketplace of hemp-based swag. “That’s the most reliable way to know how much CBD, if any, is in each gummy,” she adds. And don’t get suckered by hempseed oil—not the same thing.
We came, we ate, we chilled
The Cosmo staff took a bunch of CBD gummies, and here’s what happened.
“Instead of a much-needed post-work drink, I downed four gummies. Not long after, I was smiling for a little too long at my boyfriend’s bad jokes.” —Katie, 28
“One massive frog made me way too laid-back for an important Tuesday afternoon meeting with my boss. But I’m not mad.” —Meredith, 39
“I popped three while getting ready for bed—usually when I have my most anxious brain—and by the time I hit the pillow, I felt chilled out.” —Hannah, 26
Keto Blast and CBD Gummy Scams
Snake oil salesmen have been selling their “miracle cures” since long before the internet was even a dream. But the quack industry has skyrocketed in the age of digital communication, with infinite advertisements seemingly at the bottom of every webpage and in the headlines of every dodgy news site. This week we’ve found scams related to keto diet and CBD gummy supplements.
Keto Blast Gummies Scam
Consumers have been receiving SMS text messages containing phishing links. The advertised product is a gummy supplement that supposedly aids weight loss by promoting a ketogenic, fat-burning environment in the human body (keto diet). Of course, it is just the latest quack product that aims to make a profit out of people’s insecurities.
- try these new gummies for just 7 days and family won’t recognize it’s you. stop exercises: as3pqw2evf.co/6nf4p reply end to unsubscribe
- Test these new Gummies for just a week and folks won’t believe it’s you. No more exercises: xaicb90ufe.co/rsxu2
Clicking the phishing link will take you to phishing page where your personal information will be harvesting, potentially leading to all kinds of threats — such as theft or identity fraud. If you want to lose weight, healthy exercise and a varied diet is the way to go. Fall for these gummies and the only thing you’ll lose is your money!
CBD Gummies Scam
Consumers have also been receiving similar phishing texts advertising CBD (cannabidiol) gummies. CBD is a chemical extract from the cannabis plant. While there’s a lot of exciting research into its medicinal effects — e.g., pain relief and depression — these gummies are likely fakes.
- breaking news alert, dr oz: [URL]
- eat a free hemp gummy: [URL]
Following the phishing links will likely result in compromising your personal details. There’s no guarantee you’ll receive the product — and even less that they will work. If you are interesting in CBD (and it’s legal in your area), it would be best to check with local health services and reputable, established companies.
Shop Safe with Trend Micro Check
- Always double-check reviews of shopping websites.
- Pay attention to the company’s age, and be suspicious of great-sounding discounts.
- Strange payment methods (such as only PayPal) is a red flag.
- NEVER use links or buttons from unknown sources! UseTrend Micro Check to detect scams with ease: Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension and mobile app for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links — and it’s FREE!
After you’ve pinned the Trend Micro Check extension, it will block dangerous sites automatically! (Available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge).
You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automatic scam and spam detection and filtering. (Available for Android and iOS).
Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check. And as ever, if you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please do SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected. Happy summer shopping!
Baby formula, CBD gummies, calls from Amazon — all potential scams
The watch-out-for-the-latest-hot-scam list keeps growing and now includes baby formula that’s in short supply, CBD gummies and, yes, more Amazon scams.
Many times, the odds of losing money to crooks goes up when we’re under a great deal of stress, panicked about taking care of our families and trying to fix a problem quickly by shopping online.
Shopping online for baby formula could prove to be a bad mix
Mothers are being warned to watch out for potential con artists as families try to cope with the shortage of baby formula.
The extremely limited supply of baby formula on store shelves is likely to drive many parents and caregivers to shop online. But the Better Business Bureau is warning that online shopping scams are quite prevalent for many goods.
Fraudsters can set up fake websites that might impersonate some well-known outfits. Or they may trick consumers with social media posts that claim to be by someone who has extra formula and would be willing to take cash via a cash app.
The BBB did not hear of specific consumer complaints in mid-May but noted that well-publicized shortages can give fraudsters another way to steal money or ID information from consumers.
If you’re tempted by a website or social media post, don’t act quickly simply because you’re on edge.
Go online and search the word “scam” to look for other complaints or similar pitches.
Be skeptical of promises or pitches that you receive out of blue on social media or via email.
Scams relating to buying goods online were dubbed the the riskiest scam type for the second year in a row, according to a BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report.
Online shopping scams made up 37.4% of all scams reported by consumers to BBB Scam Tracker in 2021. Nearly 75% of those reporting an online shopping scam lost money to that scam.
Many people lost hundreds or thousands of dollars buying puppies online but people lose money buying other items, such as swimsuits, shoes, watches, fake designer handbags and exercise equipment that never shows up.
Now, the fear is that the list will extend to baby formula.
Be careful of imposter websites that might pretend to be a popular retailer. Don’t be fooled by positive reviews that might be repeated on other websites. Look for odd phrases or misspelled words.
Look twice at URLs and app names. Misplaced or transposed letters are clues of a scam.
Avoid deals that sound too good to be true.
Don’t pay by Zelle, money order or gift card, where it can be impossible to get your money back in a scam.
Experts suggest that consumers use a credit card, which will offer more protection against fraud than other payment options.
Consumers not high on CBD gummy scam
Hundreds of dollars in unexpected credit card charges are suddenly showing up after some consumers thought they had a deal on discounted cannabidiol gummies bought online.
The scam, according to a BBB alert, starts out with what looks a celebrity endorsement.
Reports from consumers on the BBB Scam Tracker mentioned seeing endorsements — which were not real — from the TV show “Shark Tank,” Hollywood star Kevin Costner, actress Mayim Bialik, and journalist Katie Couric.
New customers are being offered a sizable discount, such as buy one get one free.
The problem? You’re given your credit card number to someone who plans to ding it for repeated charges. Some victims report being charged for extra bottles or ongoing monthly subscriptions. Others are charged random amounts for products they never received.
Many times, consumers have a tough time getting their money back.
Many scam reports involve consumers who ended up unknowingly signing up for monthly reorder programs.
Take extra time to research complaints of given products and promotions online. Several consumers, for example, have reported issues at the BBB with “Fun Drops CBD Gummies.” Some complained that they placed an order that would cost $39.99 or $69 but then they were charged $199 after an initial order.
The customer support line at the Tampa, Florida, based company has extremely long wait times, as well, making it difficult to get a problem fixed. The company did post responses at the BBB site in May to address individual customer complaints made through the BBB.
No, Amazon isn’t calling
Consumers in Michigan and elsewhere are being warned that those operating scam rings are once again phoning people pretending to be from Amazon.
The caller is not from Amazon. But the Amazon imposters are using a new twist to convince consumers that their bank accounts are in danger and they need to talk to their bank and later to a so-called U.S. marshal.
What you need to do is hang up. No one bought an iPhone using your Amazon account. No one is trying to launder money through your bank accounts.
Amazon has even warned lately that scammers may try to use calls, texts, and emails to impersonate Amazon customer service.
Amazon — and the U.S. Marshals — never need you to buy them gift cards.
Contact Susan Tompor v ia [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter @ tompor . To subscribe, please go to freep.com/specialoffer. R ead more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.