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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Synagen IQ Scam and Fake CNN Report

[this is my original post on Synagen -- I had taken it down for a while and directed hits to another post (which indicated that Cogniq had used the exact same ad --  but just now remembered that there were a number of reader comments that I had lost by suppressing this post]

Short summary (since I wrote this in real time) -- I clicked on something that looked like a real CNN link, and got something that looked like a real CNN story, with the CNN logo etc etc., which included a report on a 14-day trial that Anderson Cooper himself had done of Synagen IQ.  But the article had a number of typos and just didn't seem like real reporting.  As you'll see below, it's pretty clear that it wasn't.  For me, this raises the question of how they could have gotten away with it -- putting a fake CNN news story touting their product on CNN's site, and giving it every appearance of a real CNN story.  It wasn't under "promoted stories" or anything like that.  I did not click on the link for ordering a bottle -- maybe the whole thing is just a virus, and they are taking advantage of Synagen as well.  But if Synagen was responsible for this fake ad, then that for me is conclusive proof that Synagen IQ is a scam. As noted below, the links I saw disappeared, and don't work anymore. When I hit "refresh" I ended up on lulus.com.

If you've bought Synagen IQ based on this ad -- or for any other reason -- and are disappointed with it, I strongly encourage you to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, citing this blog. Unless the makers/sellers of Synagen are somehow innocent victims here -- and I invite them to come forward and explain themselves -- this is straight-out fraud, and numerous other unsavory things.  And if it's not fraud by them, then it's fraud by someone else.  Here's where you would initiate an FTC complaint:
https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc

Update August 17, 2015:  Based on the number of hits this post is getting, it sounds like they are still running the fake CNN report.  If you got here because you saw it, please do us all a favor and leave a note with the date and time you saw it, and any other details that you think might help in an investigation against this scam.  You can leave the note anonymously -- that's better than nothing. Thanks!

If you scroll all the way down (past the fake CNN article itself), you'll see that I've listed a number of other questionable supplements with fishy advertising tactics: Alpha ZXT (formerly Neuro3x), Addium, Cogniq, Optimind, Brainfire, and Puricent - Centrophenoxine.  If you think any of these substances are somehow legitimate (whatever that means in this context), please let me know and I'll consider taking them off this list.

[Update 8/17 -- various sources have now reported an almost identical fake CNN news report that has shown up as a WashingtonPost sidebar, where the only difference is that the drug's name is Cogniq, not Synagen IQ.  Here's a link to a post by Toma that contains the "Cogniq" scam http://sickhorses.com/2015/08/09/stephen-hawking-ashton-kutcher-and-the-biggest-event-in-human-history/.  I've also reproduced the "Cogniq" scam report in a separate post on this blog (without Toma's hilarious comments).]

Here's my original post, with occasional updates.  As I write this, it's less than three hours since I first saw the ad:

Was on cnn.com this morning and clicked what looked like a CNN link:  http://www.cnn.com-news.report/us/brain01/cnn/hawking-2015.php?sid=goo300x600_01&q=1asm6nc  [which I see now,  few hours later, lands me at lulus.com -- http://www.lulus.com/whats-new/page1-60.html -- don't ask me why]

And there I found what looked like a CNN article in which Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Anderson Cooper all talk about how taking Synagen IQ has made them smarter than ever -- boosts IQ, concentration, and allows them to access 100% of their brains.  All confirmed by a Harvard study.

But a lot of the stuff was in bold.  It started sounding too good to be true, almost like an advertisement.  And then, sure enough, at the end of it -- after making it abundantly clear that this thing was nearly impossible to get -- CNN offered me the opportunity to buy my own bottle.

Very tempted to buy it; Anderson Cooper and Bill Gates had just told me that they were going to grab all they could get of it.

Below I go through and analyze the article, which I guess I'm pretty sure now is a complete scam.  It is full of fake names, and also full of fake celebrity endorsements.  What's sad is that there is a link to this right on CNN's website -- do their computers not have any way of checking to see just how fake the ads they are linking to are?  I'll take all this back if Anderson Cooper tells me he really did the 14-day trial, and really had the results reported below.

But here's something strange (I'm writing this after having written the below).  I clicked on a link under "More from Politics" to the right of an article I was reading in which Donald Trump was bashing Bernie Sanders.  It looked like another "More from Politics" piece.  But just now, as I was trying to zoom in on it to get a good screen shot, it just disappeared, leaving blank space.  As best as I can remember, it had a picture of Steven Hawking, and a caption saying something like "Steven Hawking predicts turning point in technology."  Anyway, here's what it looked like post-disappearance:


The picture of Hawking was right under that of Obama, so it looked like another CNN story.  I.e. it wasn't under "Promoted Stories" or anything like that (which is a sure tipoff to an ad).  I wonder if CNN was somehow hacked.  Anyway, the below reproduces the whole article; I also have a pdf of it, but am too lazy to figure out how to upload it here.

Here's the opening screenshot:


It's written by "Richard Mason" but when I google Richard Mason cnn, I don't find any other articles by him (in fact, I don't even find this one -- am I in the twilight zone or what?).  The ticker at the bottom runs continuously, but only has three items -- CNN Reports: Donald Trump Has Done It Again, The State Of NFL Preseason Only Days Away, and Female Billionaire Reveals Secret Behind Fortune.  The ticker on the top (under BREAKING, which you can barely see in the screen shot) just has:   Kim K Said What Not Again?  Airlines Refund All Customers, and Wall Street Is Changing Into What?

Here's the opening of the article -- with typos etc noted:
Recently Hawking made some comments in an interview with Anderson Cooper about a brain booster that would become the biggest event in human history
Stephen Hawking credits his ability to function and maintained focused on such a high level to a certain set of “smart drugs” that enhance cognitive brain function and neural connectivity, while strengthening the prefrontal cortex and boosting memory and recall.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Stephen Hawking said that his brain is sharer [PF: you mean "sharper"?] than ever, more clear and focused and he credits a large part to using Synagen IQ Hawking went on to add “The brain is like a muscle, you got to work it out [PF:  Stephen Hawking said "you got to work it out"??] and use supplements just like body builders use, but for your brain, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing to enhance my mental capabilities”. 
Everyone that has taken this, from athletes like Tom Brady to musicians like kanye [PF:  why not capitalize this first name?  Kanye does] West have nothing but praise for the brain booster, which doubles IQ, skyrockets energy levels and connects areas of the brain not previously connected. Synagen IQ works so well for these guys, we had to ask... Is it safe? 
After 7 years Harvard Scientists Finally Break New Ground & Usher In The Future Of Brain Science With Invention Of New Smart Drug That Increases IQ, Memory And Focus Up To %100 [PF:  actually, in English we say "100%."  If I had to guess, I'd guess this was not written by a native speaker]
Over a decade ago ago Harvard assembled a team of neuroscientists to work on coming up with a natural brain supplement that could effortlessly boost IQ. 
Today, those scientists made the breakthrough they were seeking and made the discovery of a lifetime.They came up with a brain boosting smart drug that surpasses all limits of known science.
The Supplement they created is now THE [PF: really?  this is reporting?] best treatment available to improve memory, sharpen attention, increase focus and boost overall IQ.  
After numerous rounds of testing results were astonishing. One test subject was quoted as saying:
“As soon as I took it started working within minutes of taking it. All of a sudden, it felt like a dark cloud had been lifted up from in front of me. I was more alert, more focused, had long lasting energy, and experienced a mental clarity that I’d never felt before” – Ben Lishger Harvard Sophomore."
The Lead Researcher on the team Dr.Rosenhouse [PF: why no first name?  very unconventional.  Also, googling "harvard rosenhouse synagen" as of right now literally yields zero results -- not even this ad (which presumably hasn't been indexed by Google as of this writing.  Other attempts to associate Rosenhouse with Harvard also fail.] gave us an exclusive inside look at the ingredients that make up this revolutionary smart drug:
“It is engineered with all the ingredients containing vitamins and essentials that your brain needs to ensure improvement in all aspects of cognitive growth, while including short and long term memory, focus, energy, problem solving capabilities and total brain performance. 
We are all very grateful to have this now, as I believe it can help everyone on the planet and take us to the next stage of evolution. We’re very proud."
His associate Dr.cortigan [PF:  No first name either?  And doesn't capitalize his last name?] went on to say:
“This revolutionary brain booster enables your brain to be the most efficient it can. It energizes the tissue and functions deep at a cellular level. It makes your brain cells perform their task genuinely and keeps away all kinds of mental fatigue or weakness. Its [it's] truly a remarkable breakthrough.”
But what does this all mean for the rest of us? Could this pill help ordinary people like you and me? 
The only way to find out is to try it an [and?] luckily The [why cap?] Harvard team has patented and sold the rights to major manufacturers who currently have a limited 3 month supply. 
For me, my major concern is my work. I feel taking this brain supplement could help improve my work and increase my income. 
Sometimes, just one simple decision can drastically change the course of your life. Literally, one click could be the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and taking a bus to work to owning mansions, yachts, private jets and never ever having to worry about money ever again.  [PF:  a very strange paragraph for a CNN reporter to write]
As Warren Buffett famously says “the more you learn, the more you earn”. 
Are you ready to take the next step in improving your life, feeling sharper and smarter than ever before and making millions or billions in the process?
“I wouldn’t have developed my patent formula if not for this amazingly incredible brain supplement .” – says Dr. Rosenhouse.  [PF:  Wait, what?  The only reason you were smart enough to make these pills is because you made the pills, took them, and then made the pills?!]
Are you ready to find out if this can work for you? We already ordered ours and will be writing a follow up piece on the results, we encourage you to do the same. [PF:  Here, they are trying to make it look like the article was originally posted some time before August 12 (i.e. today's date).  But I really don't think it was.]
The only thing you have to do is try it and see for yourself. Who knows, maybe this could be the one little decision that changes your life. Write us and let us know. Best of luck!

And to the side, there's this:

et tu Ashton?


Here's what comes next:


So Denzel takes it too.  It goes on:
As we researched, we began to see that this supplement has been quickly gaining traction around the world. Celebrities and athletes alike are already rumored to be taking the pill with the full scale public release expected shortly. The company and product is called Synagen IQ. The site claimed that Synagen IQ contained a very unique formulation of natural vitamins and minerals which together unlock untapped parts of the human brain. Our resident brain scientist Dr Raqif conducted his own independent analysis of the supplement and his findings seemed to mirror Synagen IQ's claims. According to Dr Raqif, "he's never seen a food based supplement deliver such a profound upward lift in brain function before".
[PF:  CNN does not have a Dr. Raqif, who, like the other doctors in this piece, has no first name.  Interestingly, if you google that name, you find two different fake news ads for different brain supplements, including one called "brainfire".  The ads both contain the following text:  "Welcome To The Future’ – These were the opening words when Dr Raqif appeared on [7 News/Dr. Oz] about a highly advanced brain supplement that is sending shock-waves through the medical industry."]

And on:
We tested it ourselves - did it live up to the hype?
After our research led to such positive reviews, we simply had to try Synagen IQ ourselves to verify whether this was all hype. Almost every single man in the building volunteered to test it out but we chose our very own Anderson Cooper. Below is his account of using Synagen IQ over a 4 week period.
CNN's Anderson Cooper has admitted that taking Synagen IQ he memorizes lines better.
14 Day Summary - Anderson Cooper's Synagen IQ Results:
Anderson has been with CNN for years."The Synagen IQ pills were extremely hard to come by" says Cooper. He goes on to say, "If you can get your hands on these pills - get them right away." We had to wait 2 weeks before we got a bottle to test as it was sold out almost everywhere or over $300 a bottle from people trying to sell it for profit eBay People were paying top dollar for them on there. 
The free trial bottle of Synagen IQ was delivered in a few days from ordering and with surprisingly inexpensive shipping. Before putting Cooper on the test, our team ran a little bit of our own research before we put Cooper on the test and found:
Synagen IQ has been clinically proven to:
Sky-rocket Concentration by 32%
Improve Creative Thinking
Boost Energy
Enhance Memory Recall
Increase IQ Scores by 47%
Synagen IQ arrived within 4 days of having placed my order Online for the free trials and were inexpensive to ship. To test out the product, I took one Synagen IQ pill every morning for 4 weeks.
Anderson Cooper's 14 DAY Synagen IQ EXPERIENCE
Day 1 Brain
DAY 1
I took one and forgot all about it. Maybe 20-30 minutes later I felt odd. I can only describe it by saying my mind felt calm and still. I was playing a Men's mind game' and scored 100% on every answer. It was like that feeling you get when you have just woken up. Light headed so to speak but this was different. I was light headed and spaced out but in the zone at the same time. Can't explain it - but it was awesome.
Day 5 Brain
DAY 5
I was shocked at the drastic results. Over the course of the next 5 days I found myself bouncing out of bed and felt ready to take on the day - usually I need to snooze 3 times. I felt motivation to get stuff done and often power through.
Day 14 Brain
DAY 14
After 14 days, not only had all my doubts and skepticism absolutely vanished - Thing's that annoyed me were no longer an issue.  [like putting an apostrophe in the wrong place?]  I hardly got stressed and when I did, I was able to control my emotions and get back into peak performance and state.
My Thoughts On Synagen IQ
Synagen IQ is the real deal. The increase in focus, creativity and overall mental performance was a little bit scary to be honest - I felt like a different person. I didn't notice any side effects at all either. I need to order a box of these before they are released into stores. - Anderson Cooper
And alongside all of this was a picture of Anderson Cooper:



And what CNN article would be complete without a testimonial from Bill Gates?

And here's how it ends:


Update 081515:  Further internet research suggests that fake news articles (although perhaps not this elaborate) are a tactic of people trying to sell what they say are mind-enhancing drugs.  In fact, if I had to guess, I'd guess that many of the same people are all selling the same worthless drug, under different names, using illegal and fraudulent marketing techniques.  Another clear example -- possibly perpetrated by the same marketing crew -- is Alpha ZXT (formerly Neuro3x), which circulated fake news reports and celebrity endorsements from Tiger Woods, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper, and others.  See http://m.snopes.com/2015/06/07/alpha-zxt-not-endorsed/.  Note especially the doctored Time Magazine cover which makes it seem as though Tiger Woods attributed his success to a pill (I guess he must have stopped taking them!).  Update 081715:  Actually, it's pretty clear that Alpha ZXT comes from the same scammers as Cogniq and Synagen -- they've also run fake reports from Anderson Cooper and Stephen Hawking (http://www.supplementcritique.com/alpha-zxt-review-miracle-supplement-or-hoax/).
I'd probably add "addium," "cogniq," "optimind," and "brainfire" to the list.  Another candidate is Puricent - Centrophenoxine (which sounds like a regulated drug but isn't).
The word that loosely covers all of these substances is "Nootropic supplement."  Here's a site that reviews a lot of these drugs, and concludes that most of them are not useful.  http://www.supplementcritique.com/   But I'll caution that the reviewer likes "Optimind," which to me (based on their advertising) just looks like more of the same.  But don't let me stop you from buying these -- the placebo effect is very real, and if you truly believe, these pills may make you smarter.
Beyond the placebo effect, there's no question that there are drugs out there that will enhance your mental performance -- ADHD medications like Adderall have long been used (abused?) for that purpose. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/04/27/brain-gain.  But those are regulated drugs, and they don't rely on fake ads to suck in customers.

Oh, and of course, a bunch of reader comments, which, if I had to guess, are not going to change much over the next few hours:

9 Comments
Dan
 • a few seconds ago
After I started taking Synagen IQ I got a promotion at work after just 3 weeks. Three months later I'm CEO and have surpassed all my colleagues
Brandon
 • a few minutes ago
After 2 weeks of taking Synagen IQ I was like a different person. It was actually bait unsettling as people began to behave very differently towards me! That said my work efficiency is up and I started learning a new language this week. Incredible stuff
Corey
 • a few minutes ago
I've been procrastinating for years about changing my job. 2 months ago I start a new Online business and began taking Synagen IQ. It's hard to believe I know, but I'm steadily generating $500 a day selling shoes. I sometimes go 8-10 hours in a row working at extreme levels. It's amazing.
Brian
 • a few minutes ago
This stuff is amazing! My best friend James took it too. A must try.
David
 • a few minutes ago
This sound pretty easy to do, I don't have my degree so i guess a little help won't hurt, this is a great opportunity to try it
Jordan
 • a few minutes ago
Stoked! Finally a mind booster that I'm optimistic about. I ordered it and will report back!
Rich
 • a few minutes ago
I'm very glad you did research on the suppliers of these products because most of the products out there are shams & flops. I went ahead and ordered the exact brands you recommended on this article, and I can't wait to try it.
Steve
 • over an hour ago
I ordered the free trial a weeks ago and the customer service for these companies are excellent. Will continue to buy from them.. and yes the iq booster works like a miracle! :)
Sean
 • over an hour ago
I ordered it 5 days ago and it arrived in my mail today! I will keep you updated it on it.
Vlad
 • over an hour ago
Already ordered it and my wife and I are both going to try this out, thanks. The Higgins family
James
 • over an hour ago
Thank you for doing a report on this. I've seen the advertisements everywhere and I didn't have the courage to try it until now. Thank you.
Jerry
 • a few hours ago
I want to point out that there are brands of these products out there that doesn't contain the authentic components that have been researched and the ingredients are not high in quality. I think you should mention this in the article. But the good thing is that the brands you recommended are A+ companies with solid track history because I have been taking the expand brands you mentioned.
Bob
 • a few hours ago
It looks like the free shipping and discounts are still active for now! Get em while you can.
David
 • a few hours ago
This stuff is amazing! i couldn't believe it and had to do some research on my own which is how I found this news article. I can't believe they are offering free bottles! I know my friend tried this and was thrilled.. imagine how excited he would be if he found out he could get it at such a discount now. This is a godsend, thanks so much!!
Blake
 • a few hours ago
P.S. - for all male readers out there, I found out that this product does really work, my 22 year old brother has been using it for months.. so give it a try!
Jospeh
 • a few hours ago
I have been procrastinating for 2 months after reading this article and today is the day I am going to get my supply. I've gone ahead and ordered the 5 month supply. I will keep everyone posted on my results!
Aidan
 •
I saw this product on TV a few weeks ago however, i didn't know how to order it and came across your site and found this free bottles promotion. I'm currently on my 2nd month on this stuff and i have to say.. this stuff works and my results are unbelievable :) thank you so much for putting up this article and doing the test.
Roger
 • a few hours ago
My friends and I have all been waiting for this to hit the news. Good luck to everyone who takes advantage of this amazing discovery
Gordon
 • a few hours ago
Can't wait to try!

---------

UPDATE April 7, 2016

I was just doing some research to find support for one of my other posts, and I ended up on this page:



So they are even inserting the ad in the middle of old news articles.  For those who are interested, the point of my other post is to persuade African American voters that Hillary's current attempt to align herself with President Obama -- the reason she does so well with the African American vote, and the only reason she is even still in the race -- is just more cynical Clinton politicking.  End of update; here's the other post, with this picture:  http://pricefixer.blogspot.com/2016/04/hillary-clintons-calculated-courtship.html





68 comments:

  1. Agree with you 100%. Im 76 and could use a supplement such as this. But age has shown through the years si many of these scams that I do my research before I buy. And when something its too good to be true... it endes being a scam

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry for the typos. I meant to say that age helps providing wisdom because I,ve seen this sort of thing offered many times in different ways. Years ago they would use newspapers and magazines. They don,t mind the initial investment for they make a killing with the fools that bite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm glad that you found this post! After I convinced myself that it was a scam, I tried to find out if anyone else had labeled Synagen IQ as such, but my results were inconclusive. So at least anyone doing their research now will come upon this blog, and then will be able to draw their own conclusions about it.

      Like you, when I started reading the "CNN" article I thought that this could well be just what I needed (or needed years ago, back in school!). It really looked like a CNN report on a scientific breakthrough, hailed by Stephen Hawking and others. I hope that not too many people fell for it -- it appears to have been designed to be up for only a short period of time, and then to disappear.

      Of course, in the long term, somebody has got to track these people down and get them to stop. I have a feeling that if they start losing sales, they will simply rename the compound and promote it with more of the same.

      Delete
    2. Saw this "article" in my news TODAY. Same wording, verbatim
      05/12/2016!

      Delete
    3. Thanks for writing Laurie -- it sounds like this is going to continue to be a profitable business model for these hucksters until someone shuts it down.

      Delete

  3. Good morning ! I just saw the same thing!! It came up as a breaking news story with today's date on it! I read it and thought this sounds amazingbut let me do some research. I did few searches with no luck. The other thing was when I tried to how to go back I couldn't find it!! And I thought I was losing my mind! I knew I saw it!! So when I found this article I was relieved. Now I'm a little unsure what to believe because during my search I found this...



    https://www.dailyhealthanswers.com/synagen-iq.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjw6cCuBRCh4KrGoJ6LoboBEiQAwzYsdJU15gqtxnTWD747DtxKSmvm18tAzqnsIxf-G9IZFrMaAtov8P8HAQ


    It was titled as synergen iq critique but it was just another site to link to order it! It said this post is sponsored by admark.

    Honestly at this point I'm thinking this site is synergen iq (sp) trying to plug any holes they have in their dike. And we are providing them the info!! I hope my conspiracy theory is wrong because they do need to be stopped!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very strange -- I don't know why they'd call it "Synergen IQ" if they are trying to sell Synagen IQ.

      I'm glad to hear that you experienced the same "disappearing news report" phenomenon that I did. It sounds like a whole new kind of advertising scam that the FTC -- or maybe just a motivated investigative journalist -- really should get in there and investigate. For all we know, Synagen is just the tip of the iceberg, and sleazoids have hit upon a new way of selling that is that much harder to track and shut down.

      It looks like that "dailyhealthanswers" site is a place that people can simply place their ads for health-related stuff, and you may be right, they may attract hits from searches that are intended to find out if it's a scam, and then they end up selling more of their snake oil to those people!

      Delete
    2. I'm sure it was just my misspelling ... Sorry about that!

      Delete
  4. They take advantage of the fact that the celebrities they use in their ads will never bother to sue. That,s why they use them. These celebs are used like this every day even by magazines. And the article looks so real that it,s almost a perfect trap. Thank you pricefixer for your research in this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good point. It's just not worth it for the celebrities to sue, and it really doesn't hurt them all that much. So it's up to us to stop them. Report them to the FTC -- https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc

      Delete
  5. I consider myself an above average scam-sniffer(for some reason I even forgave the sharer and the fake-looking URL.) But this one had me fooled until it mentioned "Tom Brady". When I tried to search for "synagen iq scam", I got a litany of fake reviews. Yours sounded more genuine than others, so I bravely clicked on it.

    I think I need Synagen IQ to avoid getting fooled by these ads. I have to admit that it was clever or at least I wasn't at my sharpest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point -- maybe it was all the Synagen IQ that their programmers were taking that allowed them to make such a real-seeming CNN report. But their writers really need to increase their dosage, to avoid some of the obvious errors they made. Of course, now that I've pointed them out, they will presumably fix them for the next go-round.

      Delete
  6. I saw it today (August 17, 2015) as a sidebar "ad" on USA Today's website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that -- was it essentially the same "CNN" report described in my post, or was it some kind of USA Today report?

      Delete
  7. Ugh!!! I fell for it and just ordered 5 bottles. Does anyone know what the ingredients are in Synagen IQ ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear it. I haven't seen the ingredients anywhere -- one website that evaluates these things says that despite all the "advertising," there's no ingredient list. http://www.supplementcritique.com/synagen-iq-review-smart-pill-or-scam/

      If you really ordered 5 bottles, I hope you're mad enough to file an FTC complaint. You can start the process here:

      https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Information#crnt&panel1-1

      Delete
  8. Must be a successful scam. I see they are even running it on CNN.Com over at http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/05/europe/europe-migrant-crisis/index.html . On th side bar there is an ad with Steven Hawkings picture with him claiming it it mankind's "greatest breakthru"...then it links to the fake cnn page noted at the top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's sad to see that even though this blog has been up for some time, they haven't even bothered to correct some of the obvious typos and giveaways. I'm sure they are still selling plenty. The problem is that a lot of people are still fairly unfamiliar with the internet, and never venture much past the "gateway" sites where this ad/report appears. Those are the people most at risk, and those are the people who don't google around when something sounds almost too good to be true. They are probably also thinking to themselves that since it's so obviously illegal to use Anderson Cooper and Stephen Hawking's images to endorse a product they don't endorse, this must really be Anderson Cooper and Stephen Hawking.

      Delete
  9. Hello,
    The scam has infiltrated a popular News App, Zite, except they've changed the name of the product to "Intellux". It's obvious that the claimed research and effects of this product are not genuine as described in the article here:http://beautynewsnow.com/brain3/?voluumdata=vid..00000006-69bc-4d67-8000-000000000000__vpid..dcd7e800-5eef-11e5-88cd-e45872cc907b__caid..9246bfab-6292-4933-8641-0ba081a5cc9d__rt..D__lid..558b0e18-281f-489e-aaff-2d9b6dcf9510__oid1..acfccd33-e531-4104-b78d-afd8478a5d83__var1..300x250\_\brain__rd..api\.\avidadserver\.\com__aid..__sid..&creative=300x250_brain#tag, because a simple google search of the name of the alleged leading Harvard researcher, "Dr.Rosenhouse" yields no results. Also, a search of the product, Intellux, on the CNN website yields no results.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much for this new information. I personally can't keep up with all of this. I see now that if you google search for "Synagen" there are 2 or 3 pages (depending on which browser) of fake hits that you get, so it's getting less likely that people will find this blog.

      I hope somebody calls the FTC, finds out what's going on with the investigation, and lets us all know. Again, here's there number and the reference number: 877-382-4357, reference number 65703157.

      Delete
  10. There was a link to this scam on my Weather Channel app. I clicked on it to read and it sounded too good to be true. A quick Google search brought me here. If it sounds too good to be true, I've found that it usually is!

    ReplyDelete
  11. October 21, 2015. Found the 'cnn news' post about 'neurocell' this morning while browsing news topics. Scary. The typos also clued me in and led me to a search which lead me here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This ad for Neurocell just popped up as a Facebook alert, but now that I think about it, the alert screen was probably fake also. Anyway I want to thank you for taking the time to post your finding. It saved me from being scammed.
    Even though I new it sounded too good to be true, I was tempted / swayed by the "professional testimony "
    This is a scam of the worst I have seen or heard of. The re is about 60 million seniors who would pay for a pill like this. And these scammed now it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad this helped you. I think that you are absolutely right -- they are targeting seniors, and others who may well be worried about losing their mental edge. I think the fact that what they are really doing is so obviously illegal is what makes it work. People assume that scammer would not be able to get away with using Anderson Cooper's name, reputation, and image like that.

      This has been going on for so long that I have to assume that Anderson Cooper himself has heard about it and just doesn't care. That's a sad statement right there. If anybody can think of a way to contact him and shame him into putting a real end to this misuse of his reputation, please share it with the rest of us, and we'll mobilize!

      Delete
  13. Pricefixer, Thanks for you "spoiler alert" blog. We need more if these and I have seen others. One nootropic ad that I haven't seen scam or spoiler alerts on is (Alpha Brain). I believe the mfg company is ONNITT. They, at least, list all their ingredients and what they supposedly do. Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much for this -- on quick look, I didn't find anything specific for "Alpha Brain" (although it looks like a scam for various reasons), but I did run across something called Alpha ZxT, which is also using the Anderson Cooper/Stephen Hawking fake story. I just put up on post on that.

      I'll continue to put up posts every time I find out that this scam is being run under a new name. I just hope that people who notice such ads under different names end up here and tell me about it.

      If you have anything more specific about Alpha Brain, please let us know.

      Delete
    2. December 3, 2015
      Glad I decided to research when I saw the same thing but it was using the name Neurocell on s3.amazonaws.com/mybenifit/fb/fb-cnn.html?sid. it just popped up from an app.

      Delete
  14. Sadly, there is a link from the app "Dictionary" on the iPhone that goes to a bogus ad for NeuroCell, using the same photos, even the same typos(!) as for previous advertisements. The crooks don't seem smart enough to correct these errors, which hopefully will tip off other readers of this scam. Thank you for your informative blog. I hope this gets to you, as my note on my iPhone does not appear to have gone through. I am contacting Dictionary.com, the authors of the app:
    Sent To Dictionary.com:
    Please be advised that an advertisement link from your website appears to be to a fraudulent advertisement for "NeuroCell." It is the same ad used previously to advertise similar phony brain enhancing supplements as described by pricefixer.blogspot.com. I am dismayed that your app does not screen better for your advertising links. You should remove this link and notify authorities of the fraudulent advertising, and publicly dissociate yourself from the ad, notifying recipients that it is false.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for writing Murray, and thanks for taking the initiative and contacting dictionary.com. Please let us know if you hear back from them.

      In the meantime, I wish more readers would do that when they see these ads. They could probably just copy your note and send it on.

      Delete
  15. Now the product is called Neurocell Lol! Very creative use of media. Maybe the authors have been popping their own pills ������������

    ReplyDelete
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  17. Aaaaaand now it's called Geniux. I guess they just keep changing the name as soon as someone catches on. But they don't change the article! Lol!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Thanks very much for writing Angela. This is the only way we can keep up with these scamsters. It only took me about 10 minutes to slap up a post about Geniux this time!

      It would be lol if we didn't know that they were making tons of money off of some of the most vulnerable members of our society and that nobody -- not the FTC, not Anderson Cooper, not Stephen Hawking -- is doing anything about it.

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's called native advertising and it's perfectly legal and not a scam. Look it up and learn about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Christopher, you are wrong on at least three levels. First, "native advertising" requires some kind of a disclaimer in which the advertiser lets the reader know that the "article" is actually an advertisement. Nothing like that here. Second, native advertising can look like a news article, but it cannot copy the CNN logo etc to make it look like the source is actually CNN. That's trademark infringement and then some. And third (and most obviously), legal native advertising cannot use totally fake celebrity endorsements. That's simply false advertising.

      PS if you don't think the celebrity endorsements are fake, then you haven't read this post (or the other ones, where the same celebrity endorsements are used to sell differently-named products) very carefully. I'm pretty sure that even without this blog, most people realize that the celebrity endorsements must be fake.

      Delete
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  21. Just saw this link on a news website for Synagen IQ with the headline "Trump Destroys Clinton in Debates Thanks to "Brain Pill"
    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  22. They are now using the same
    CNN fake story to promote a brain "booster" called IQ+.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I haven't been able to confirm this, although I can see that IQ+ -- like the others -- is marketed as a "nootropic" supplement. It also looks like a relatively new entry to the market -- or the "name change" game -- so it doesn't have a lot of baggage yet.

      If you (or anyone else) can provide more details (e.g. a link showing the scam being used with IQ+) I'll try to run a separate post on it.

      Delete
  23. The damned thing is still alive and breathing. I just found it now on Forbes. The tip off was that now it's IQ+ and it's being touted by Stephen Hawking ... which pushed the improbability factor off the chart.

    Here's the link ;
    http://www.thesmartershoppers.com/ABA/3/forbeshawkgen2/syn.html?rt=hwk&trvjs=t&sxid=aafuaj2mqwuw

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just saw it on Facebook saying today is the last day for a free trial! It needs to be stopped!!! Hopefully fb people will be smart and research it before thinking about signing up! Thanks for the article!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, forgot to mention it was under the name Synagen iq.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for reporting this. Facebook is a place where a lot of people are vulnerable, so it wouldn't surprise me if they are picking up new customers there. Hopefully people will see this and report the scam to the FTC ect.

      Delete
  25. Here's a copy of a comment that was clearly meant for this post:

    More fake news reports put there still. I just came across one from NBC News who reports their Health & Science Editor, Alan Frasier over gone a 4 week test of it and he claims a bunch of wonderful things. I actually clicked get a free trial, risk free I should add, and after you check out THEN they tell you, and I'll copy and paste this part:
    By placing an order you will pay $4.95 for shipping and will be shipped a 30 day supply of Synagen IQ. You will have 13 days to try the product (plus 2 days for shipping thus giving you 15 days from today until you are billed). 15 days from the date of purchase, you will be charged $84.71 and enrolled in our refill membership program. If you cancel before the 15 day trial ends and don't return it you may be charged a retention fee for keeping the product. After thirty days from the date of purchase opened packages are not eligible for return, even if they are returned. After thirty days all shipments are ineligible for refunds even if they are unopened. Every thirty day thereafter until you cancel, you will be billed and shipped a new 30 day supply at $84.71. You can cancel or modify your membership anytime by calling 1-844-465-0024, open 5am - 5pm PST Mon-Fri and Sat 5am - 4pm PST.

    Non of that was mentioned on their page what so ever, and I'd like to know what they mean by "If you cancel before the 15 day trial ends and don't return it you may be charged a retention fee." How much is this fee?! I called right away 4 times and could not get anyone on the phone until I requested a call back. They said they cancelled my order but I never got an email as promised. All I can say after my experience is STAY AWAY from this stuff! I'm calling my bank next to get a new debit card, I do not trust this company at all! Thank you for your article and letting people know just how much of a scam it is! Wish I read this article first! Thanks, Darlene Kirschman, 2/13/17

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here's a copy of my reply:

      Thanks for providing all of this extra detail Darlene; I'm going to copy your response to the Synagen post (it fits better there). I hope you are successful in getting the payments cancelled.

      Since you are clearly a victim of this scam, I strongly urge you to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission. The phone number is 877-382-4357. A previous complaint was given reference number 65703157, but I haven't heard about any action taken on it. You can also fill out a complaint here:

      https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1

      If you do, please report back here what happens!

      Delete
  26. its a scam stay away ,hoping cnn sues and shuts you down
    $4.99 is the bait then the very least you can pay is $30.00 and if you don't call can be $84.00 garbage product do not use .

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just came across the same exact ad, word for word, pic for pic with Anderson Cooper, Bill Gates as well as Stephen Hawkins that you posted (I believe it was) in 2015. It was for Synergy IQ. Just as Anonymous February 16, 2017 at 4:32 AM (above) writes. It's a JOKE that these scammers can get away with consistently posting such blatant lies and deceit. Not to mention getting away with falsely using well known people and news outlets looked to for honest and trustworthy reporting. This irks me beyond........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Sue. Why don't you step up and do something about it -- like report it to the FTC. You could fill out a complaint here: https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc

      Delete
    2. saw an add for this with picture of hawking and anderson cooper on 3/15/2017. Really looks legit.

      Delete
  28. http://socialaffluent.com/breaking-story/report5/syncompliant.html?region=Washington&siteid=5464&campaignid=21666&placementid=45203&channel=News&subchannel=Conservative+News&c=0.0106&trvjs=t&sxid=376p98iiupu8

    ReplyDelete
  29. http://socialaffluent.com/breaking-story/report5/syncompliant.html?region=Ohio&siteid=2518&campaignid=21666&placementid=45203&channel=News&subchannel=Commentary%28New%29&c=0.009298&trvjs=t&sxid=3uffxw8w8g8n

    ReplyDelete
  30. It was a link on yahoo.com and looks like a real (though the () says "sponsored". http://famous-news.org/ha1/index.php?post=33025150479&sig=MTQ5MTEzNjY0NA%3D%3D.IGGcgk-sisy-PJY970UveAIFYNY%3D&dfb142=mLO7ki1ZMyV67R91crqagS%2FmvqQPfRnuPzY05J7EyGpqCGhWDM5X5V73HPXtCFmJkhPZEy%2BfgrzOa5Qy3X%2BBZg%3D%3D&sxid=116411365191

    ReplyDelete
  31. Also stay away from Max Synapse. They also automatically charged me an additional $325.00 for automatic yearly fee for buying first bottle. Such assholes...my bank stopped them dead in their tracks. I bought it for my Aunt who has Alzheimer's Disease.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I just saw it today on Yahoo.com's main page. It appeared under sponsored news, the listed sponsor being an organization called "SyFyWire." Clicking it takes you to this site that looks like CNN, until you actually look at the site address: http://famous-news.org/ha1/index.php?post=33027629105&sig=MTQ5MjAzNTc2OQ%3D%3D.0VFyHLmr72Y34TGt-sSQMEA8ZH0%3D&e899=Rzvks2M9u2HOtTKs3wyCbm%2F461Zz5HYZyRqgreRIsVbw7hq41N%2F8IhQ5Z%2FiGKuXPJCHAe%2FsZLOIdEZ9DkJy5qg%3D%3D&sxid=063979929751

    Clicking on any other link on the fake CNN site (I tried "Sports") takes you directly to their sales page.

    I was halfway through reading the alleged "news article" when I noticed that I was wanting to buy the product, and was like, "wait, why is a news article making me feel like I want to buy something? That's something advertisements are supposed to do... ohhh. And look, they're trying to appeal to people who are dissatisfied with their lives, just like the skeeziest of the for-profit colleges do in their ads... ohhh."

    So, yeah, I hope this information is helpful in stopping these jerks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too -- thanks very much for posting. I still can't understand why no government agency has taken action against this scam, but every documented incident surely helps a little bit!

      We'll just keep on keeping a record here until somebody in authority decides to wake up and do something.

      Delete
  33. 4/18/17: This ad is on Yahoo.com complete with recent comments from satisfied customers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to note it. The scam is obviously not going away any time soon.

      Delete
  34. Scam. I saw this same add 6/7/2017 @ 4:00 p.m.

    I will cancel my order.

    ReplyDelete

  35. THIS IS THE ADRESS http://businessinsider.com--story.org/brain/n6/gates-synagen.php?mediasource=b1_adsnative&publisher=www.frontpagemag.com&idfa=&idfa_lat=false&aaid=&aaid_lat=false&adgroupid=13329&contentadid=376858&postbackid=OnKmcWbV65fLXeSVUpjCYst5OUL8KoRjxjfOlS1GzucYyXCf5ul3bhVUwpBDrSxYUUu04L6R4VU&_z1_adgid=13329&_z1_caid=376858&_z1_msid=b1_adsnative&_z1_pub=www.frontpagemag.com&_z1_tg=clumsy_sheep_hist&trvjs=t&sxid=6lnc5zu0nayd

    The ad contained Stephen Hawking Anderson Cooper Bill Gates Oprah Winfrey and a ton of other celebrities saying that they've used this product to me it sounds like total BS because I've never heard of anything like that so I hope you guys can investigate it and figure out why these people are allowed to blatantly lie and use these people as Pawns in their scheme I do believe Stephen Hawking has trademarked his name which would bring a lawsuit for him against the company good luck I hope you get it I don't like liars

    ReplyDelete
  36. The Ad is still showing up. The Date is 6/21/2017. Its on the main page when I open my web browser which is www.yahoo.com and its showing on www.msn.com. I read the article but I know better than to buy random stuff off line unless its from one of my trusted sites so I was not suckered into it. I also did some research on the product itself and according to Home and Health Digest it does not list any ingredients or anything in it and on their scale of Brain Enhancement supplements it ranked dead last where as the number one was Provasil. It looks like this fake ad has been running for quite some time and still is and it is showing that Cooper Anderson sponsored the ad, wonder if he is aware his name is being stolen to sell a product. Hmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  37. http://sci-viral.com/br/ha1/index.php?creaid=http%3A%2F%2Fcoppernews.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F06%2F1-1024x535.jpg&sig=MTQ5ODA3MzkzNA%3D%3D.tsqaf8Fzg0Sd6pUVTkO64-MLcwM%3D&siteid=msn-defaulthomepage&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=taboola&sxid=720129348293

    ReplyDelete
  38. 07/29/2017 - It is showing up on MSN.com main homepage as a sponsored news article from "Leak Today" with the headline of "Stephen Hawking Incredible Prediction for Humanity".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for writing -- for a while there I thought maybe it had gone away. But I'm sure there is still money to be made . . . .

      Delete