E-Factor Diet: Case Study of a diet book scam

scamE-Factor Diet is a relatively new so-called diet currently being peddled on the Internet.  Its slick website ask for the “low price” of $29.95 for what appears to be an ebook or a “program” that “guarantees” weight loss.  This is a textbook version of the numerous other  infoscams that have infected the Web over the last three years.  E-Factor is seizing upon histamine as the new food villain to be avoided at all costs………actually at a cost to you of about $30.  Of course, it claims that the retail value of the deal is over $200.   But the real catch is hidden in the pitch is:  “Join The Mission“.  More about this later.

If this claim looks familiar, it probably is — it is almost identical to other questionable diet offerings also hawked on the Internet — and it was probably conjured up by the same marketers.   In some cases, one marketer may be offering a host of related products.  Here’s how it works:  you are treated to a videomercial that touts the “proven way to lose weight;  many of them are targeted specifically at women.   Is it a scam?   Is it a rip-off?  Does it work?   You’ll never find out, largely because of an increasingly pernicious Internet industry that uses fake product review sites to hide customer reactions.   So, should you spend the $29.95?   We recommend not, for the following reasons:

1.  There’s a reason this sales pitch is slick — they spend a lot of marketing money to get it to you.   Who is paying for that?  You are.   And, like many scammers, they are using Clickbank to sell their ebook so don’t assume you’ll get a refund.  “Rock solid guarantee”…..don’t bet on it.   The scammers bet on the fact that most consumers won’t seek refunds until after the 60-day period expires.   In fact, they count on it.   Moreover, they are betting on their ability to “upsell” you.   This is marketing-speak for efforts to sell you more than you want or need.   And you can bet that the E-Factor Diet will be doing some heavy upselling of other products and services.

2.  If you look for a review of the product, you are deluged with lots of fake review or “scam” sites that simply direct you to the main sales site or offer some officious pablum talking about how the product is highly rated or recommended.   The marketers for this service large commissions for any referrals they generate.   So these “affiliate marketers” create create fake review sites which effectively thwart any customer who is looking for real reviews.   It is also a tactic to obscure any customers who have posted complaints or alerts about fraudulent claims.  This affiliate marketing trick makes it very difficult for consumers to detect this and other such scams,  As one persevering blogger has noted, scam artists rely upon these fraudulent reviewers to be using tags like:  “does it work?”, “is it a scam?” or “verified review” to suck unsuspecting consumers into this fraud.    Here’s a page from the affiliate promotion page detailing what the fake review sites will be paid if they direct unsuspecting consumers to the E-Factor lair:

efactor

3.  Perhaps most importantly, there is an abundance of free or low-cost diets available on line.  Sadly, most all of them don’t work.  Fad diets been around for so long that we lose weight just calculating all of the weight loss schemes out there.    They are all appealing because they make it look as though others have succeeded.   But be aware that the only fat that melts away is whatever surplus existed in your checking account.  In fact, fad diets that promise dramatic results often can be dangerous.   Please know that no matter how well-intentioned you are, without a commitment to exercise and substantial lifestyle changes, you likely won’t succeed in maintaining any weight loss.  And if you have that commitment or will-power, then just about ANY diet will succeed.   You don’t have to pay $40 for the information.    Begin by going to this free and reputable website and then follow-up with your doctor to make sure that the diet you’ve chosen will work for you.

4. There is serious scientific debate over whether low-histamine diets actually are healthy for you.  It is far from settled-science.  Foods that contain histamines include all fermented foods (cheese, sauerkraut, kim chee, tofu etc), spinach, eggplant and other nutrient-rich foods;  all of these should be included in a healthy diet.   Other foods that trigger histamines response in your body include: chocolate, red wine, eggs, shrimp and a number of other foods that many nutritionists would say are the foundation for a healthy living.    While some people do have strong allergic response to some foods (which prompts the bodies to produce histamine responses),  the vast majority of people do not have that strong allergic reaction.    Histamines are, in fact, an important part of your body’s immune response system.

Histamine is a tiny messaging molecule that some cells use to communicate with each other.  It is naturally found in all kinds of plants and animals.  Histamine is best known for its role in the body’s allergic response.  If you are allergic to a food or outside stimulus  (e.g. bee sting)  your immune cells will flood your system with histamine.   For some people who suffer from a strong allergic reaction, the histamine release will wreak all kinds of havoc–from hives to low blood pressure to difficulty breathing.  But this is histamine in crisis mode.  Under normal circumstances, tiny amounts of histamine are quietly conducting the daily business of the body.  In fact, histamines are essential for regulating body functions as diverse as digestion, sleep, sexual function, blood pressure, and brain function.  How does this one molecule do so many different things?  The secret to histamine’s multi-faceted nature lies in which type of cell and which type of receptor it binds to.  For example, when histamine binds to special cells in the stomach called parietal cells, they respond by producing stomach acid.  When histamine binds to receptors on the surface of blood vessel cells, blood vessels dilate, dropping blood pressure. Small vessels called capillaries become leaky and fluids ooze out of them, which can lead to runny nose, watery eyes, and puffy skin/fluid retention.  In the brain, histamine acts as a neurotransmitter, carrying chemical messages between nerve cells.

So are you histamine intolerant?   According to an authoritative 2007 review article, histamine intolerance affects about 1% of the population, and 80% of those affected are middle-aged.  The majority are women.   If you believe you are histamine intolerant, you should get this confirmed by a physician and then, and only then, begin a histamine-restricted diet.   There’s plenty of good information about histamine intolerance if you are interested.

Our bottom line: Avoid John Rowley’s “mission”.   His mission is, in reality, to get you to spend $30 on a dubious diet and to get you locked into all of the other things that he’s planning to sell you.   Importantly, you don’t have to spend $29.95 to get information about how to lose weight or to create a histamine-restricted diet; it’s already available on the Net at a fraction of the cost of most weight loss schemes.  Save your hard-earned money.  And beware ANY Net-based sales pitch that has uncredentialed, slick video presentations with no independent reviews. It may not be a scam, but it is probably a rip-off because it is overpriced for what it is offering.

One additional warning:  once you give them your money, you’ll be tagged as “meat”.  Once they know that you’ll fall for this pitch, the same marketers will be coming back to you over and over and over for other such pitches.  So understand that if you pay these marketers anything….let alone $30…..they’ll continue to hound you with more slick schemes designed to prey on your fears and concerns.  Don’t open your door or wallet to them.

8 thoughts on “E-Factor Diet: Case Study of a diet book scam

  1. I am glad I googled the diet and found your page before I went and purchased it. I will keep the money in my purse. Thanks

  2. Thank you so much for this information. I really wish Google would take a look at some of the so-called review sites out there and take action. We are being misled in many industries.

  3. I immediately discovered the fake reviews — they all led to the same site. In fact, the Yahoo search engine had 12 pages of these fake reviews. I finally found this review on Google on the 3rd or 4th page.

    How annoying. Thank you for injecting common sense.

  4. Thank you for helping consumers separate fact from fiction. Glad you’re out there.

  5. Thank you so much for posting an honest write up of these scam companies. Everything you have said, I have been a victim of. I have tried in vain to get a $160 refund from the Yuri Ekriam website for some horrible protein powder that I purchased but could not stomach. I ordered one can, then they put the order on auto ship. I returned the product a year ago, and still, no refund. Can’t get through by phone and can’t get through by email. And once ai ordered through them, the flood gates opened, and now I am being overwhelmed with these annoying 30 minute commercials. Thanks to you, I am going to go into my email account and set up blocks on all of these companies.

    Thanks again!

    Nola

  6. Peter from Toronto
    September 7, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Thanks so much for your article. In checking for reviews and “scams”, all of them praised the product. I would have expected to find some negatives, but all were very positive. They seemed faked, and too good to be true. The dishonesty of those sites is appalling. Much appreciation for exposing them. Peter

  7. William Bruce
    May 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    My gratitude for your most enlightening expose on “affiliate promotion” and fake review sites. I have certainly parted ways with money for slickly produced videomercial products before, with less than satisfying results. It is discouraging to see brilliant-minded and talented people devising ways to scam consumers who are just seeking help with whatever challenge is confronting them. Extra kudos for your overview of histamines. That in itself was a bonus well worth the $30.00 the scammers were seeking.

  8. Thanks for your expose on this program, especially the facts about the effects of histamine. I’ve bought the product and kept it, though I haven’t tried the full program yet (only parts of it). I don’t think it is a scam because I did get the products as promised, but I don’t know about the refund policy since I don’t want a refund. Sometimes what I want from these paid products (as opposed to free information) is organized information, and email support. Whether it’s a rip off or not depends on the person buying it and whether the information is valuable to them or not.

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