SCAM ALERT: Lean Body Hacks Sucks

The Lean Body Hacks scheme claims that Randy Smith created a weight-loss “program” that ensures that you’ll lose “2 pounds every 2 days”. In fact, Randy Smith doesn’t exist.  This diet plan is crafted by Internet marketers — in this case Mike Zhang — who are expert at creating compelling stories and prying money out of consumers’ bank accounts.   The target of these unscrupulous marketers is people who don’t trust Western medicine and who identify as religious.   As you’ll read below, unsuspecting consumers are getting played by clever, but greedy, marketers.  And, as you’ll learn below, the reason that this scheme is quite bogus.  If you fall for their fake diet scam, your wallet is the only thing that will be lighter, by about $37 poorer.

In addition to the Lean Body Hacks, recent Net offerings include Fat ObliteratorVenus Factor Weight Loss, Trouble Spot NutritionFat DiminisherThe Truth About Cellulite, Pound Melter and the Weight Destroyer, just to name a few.  Their slick websites ask for the “low price” of $37-39.95 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.  The Lean Body Hacks has opted to charge $37….which is pretty standard.   This one even includes the line:  It is God’s purpose for me to help you.  This means Zhang’s marketers are targeting people who associate with religious communties.   If only God would use some targeted lightning bolts to rid the Internet of these unconscionable exploiters.

Here’s how this particular scam 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.   You’ll also never be able to find out about the credentials of the authors — none apparently exist on the Internet, nor are they provided at his own alleged web site.    So, should you spend the $37?   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.

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 pay 75-100% commission 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.    In the case of the Lean Body Hacks, they are offering affiliate marketers $21.24, or about 90% of what they are charging you.  How can they do that?   Because they know they’ll be able to upsell — charge you for additional services — the poor folk that fall for this scam.

3.  In the case of the Lean Body Hacks, the alleged author is allegedly a former sergeant named Randy Smith.  Because of his common name, a Google search will take you to a number of Randy Smiths in the military.  But there is no one that claims authorship of Lean Body Hacks.   Cleverly, the websites hawking the this diet offers no qualifications or credentials about the author.   Moreover, many of the pictures posted on the website are stock photos purchased from online graphics companies.  This one of Smith is a stock photo you available for purchase at Dreamstime.com. Once you send your hard-earned money to the non-existent “Randy Smith”, you become ensnared in a sophisticated marketing scam designed to wring more money out of you using empty and vague promises.

4.  Aside from some laughable claims (“my mom lost 79 pounds in eight weeks”), there are no specific details about the weight-loss regimen, other than taking a combination of common herbs (capsicum, tumeric, fenugreek and ginseng) taken in some “unique ratio”.   The real giveaway of this scheme is its claim that you need not diet or exercise.  That’s what most Internet marketers claim so that consumers will not feel like they have to make any changes to their lifestyle.   Check out how these marketers explain their program to affiliates:  it’s all about upselling and getting more money out of their “marks”.  Zhang offers Lean Body Hacks along with a bunch of other bogus weight-loss programs.

5.  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.    Another way is to use a high-protein diet or meal replacements;  that’s one of the reasons why the Paleo Diet has proven so effective.

Another is through gradual weight-loss plans that change your lifestyle, and not just your calories.  Perhaps most importantly, these are free or low-cost diets available on line.  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 $37 for the information.    Begin by going to the Mayo Clinic’s free and reputable website.  The medical experts at the Clinic have fashioned a thoughtful and time-tested plan that has worked for untold numbers of people.  Then follow-up with your doctor to make sure that the diet you’ve chosen will work for you.

Here are some additional free and reputable dieting and weight-loss resources for you on the Net:

Smart for Life

Livestrong Diet –  Aims for a loss of about 1-2 pounds per week.

GM Diet  –  It’s not really a General Motors-designed diet plan.  It’s actually a short one-week detox program.   But it could be a useful starter to a major personal diet reboot.  Linora Low gives a helpful (and free)  step-by-step video and written guide to how to do this detox program.

The Lose Weight Diet –  It does what many of the diet scammers do (take free  information and distill it down to 3 easily understood phases) but he actually offers it for free!

Our bottom line: you don’t have to spend $37 to get information about how to lose weight. 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.   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.

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 $37…..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.

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