Fraud is prevalent on the Internet. Scattered through the Net are Web-based infoscams that overcharge or steal your money for “products” that don’t work or can be found for free. A common scheme they use is “affiliate marketing” by which they try to trick you into thinking that other consumers vouch for the product. Acid Reflux Strategy, authored by “Scott Davis” isn’t quite a scam as much as the typical Internet scheme to charge way too much money for free information. This particular overpriced offering has been dreamed up by Blue Heron Health News. It seems like a respectable website and contains some useful information. However, it uses this news to lure unsuspecting consumers into their very lucrative trap: asking $49 for information that is freely available on the Internet.
We call these sites infoscammers because they mostly follow the same template: Product Description, Examination Record, Review or Analysis, Site Preview, Download button, Pros and Disadvantages and Conclusion. Many of them also have a Leave Page Pop-Up that makes it difficult to return to your Google search. They are hawked by affiliate websites that come by a whole array of names, such as “Daily Scam Reviews“, “Review Tools” “Scam Review Today“, “ScamX”, “Queen’s Reviews” and other such sounding websites. The vast majority of them are little more than automated shills for these scam sites, designed to conceal real scam reports. They are authored by professional fake review writing services or “reputation management” companies. While they are all hawking different “products”, the share many common sales tactics:
1. They have a link or embedded video of the product/service offer. If the outgoing link on the review product includes an affiliate tracking code, then you can be sure they are being compensated by the link.
2. They don’t have a link describing the qualifications of the “reviewer”.
3. Many of them don’t have a “Contact Us” menu or reveal information about the reviewing organization itself.
4. The quality of the writing is odd — either bad translations or boilerplate sounding sentences.
5. The information at the web site is limited to reviews. If the entire site is nothing seemingly impartial reviews, then the author has no expectation of having visitors return, and consequently, no risk of losing regular visitors.
6. They make some urgent Requirement for Paying a Fee or Payment. If the deal requires an advance fee or some kind of urgent response or cash payment. If you feel any pressure to make a decision, don’t do it. Responsible financial advisors do not rush prospective clients into hasty, and regrettable, decisions. They should welcome your scrutiny. In fact, use the Internet to do a search for any transactions in which they’ve been involved and see what others say.
7. They offer questionable testimonials. Most of them include pictures of non-existent people that have been purchased on the Net by photography services.
Why We Don’t Recommend Acid Reflux Strategy
While Acid Reflux Strategy isn’t offering a bogus pill or useless information, like so many infoscammers, it is seeking an outrageous $49 for information that is readily available for free. Moreover, they are setting up consumers for even larger fleecings. You see, infoscammers like to “convert” their prey. This is a fancy term for upselling. Once they know you are willing to part with your money, they’ll continue to “milk” you for more money. Here’s how Blue Heron advertises to affiliates, to whom they pay 75% of the money they generate from you:
So, approximately $40 of the $49 you pay for this information is going to affiliates who make it appear as though they’ve tried the product (but, in fact, very few have). Blue Heron can be this generous, because they are confident that they’ll convince you to buy even more of their overpriced programs:
They have dubious “cures” for just about all of the common ailments that afflict the general public. They all charge way too much for either dubious or freely available information.
Where to Get Free Info About GERD and Acid Reflux
A number of very reputable expert resources are freely available to consumers. For example, the esteemed Mayo Clinic has pages and pages of useful information about what causes it and how to treat it. They even offer some home remedies, such as licorice and chamomile. Ginger tea and baking soda has also been reported to relieve GERD symptoms. As does chewing gum or roasted almonds. And even fermented foods (like kimchi or sauerkraut) or mustard have proven to be very successful in reducing GERD symptoms because of their high alkalinity. And a number of people report that drinking aloe juice reduces throat irritation.
Another reputatable website is Healthline. It has published a list of actions that let you take control of your acid reflux symptoms. Most importantly, it doesn’t cost you $49. It’s free.
What To Do If You’ve Been Trapped In An Infoscam
The good news is that some large internet companies are starting to crack down on fake review sites. Recently, Amazon filed a lawsuit against several websites that publish paid-for reviews on Amazon. According to Amazon’s suit, the websites promise to write bogus five-star reviews for customers that pay between $19 and $22 per review. They include buyamazonreviews.com and buyazonreviews.com (owned by Jay Gentile). Unfortunately, it’ll take more companies like Amazon to bring such lawsuits. In the meantime, buyer beware of 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. In this case, there’s lots of good diet information in the marketplace offered at a fraction of the cost of most weight loss schemes. Save your hard-earned money.
Your first step should be to contact your credit card company and have them discontinue any charges by the scammers. This is called “disputing the charge”. You need to state that you didn’t authorize the payments. For most consumers, that ends the flow of money.
You need to also unsuscribe your email address from the scammers mailing list. This should stop the steady stream of marketing pitches.
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 $40…..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.