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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Synagen IQ Scam

This post is a combination of two previous posts regarding a fake CNN report about Synagen IQ and an identically fake CNN report regarding Cogniq.  Both of them are said to enhance brain function by amazing amounts, and both are simply lies.

Update Sept. 4, 2015:  A commenter has filed a complaint about this scam with the Federal Trade Commission.  If you want to find out what the FTC is doing about it, you can talk to someone at the FTC at this number: 877-382-4357, and give them reference number of 65703157.  Let us know what they say.


Update April 7, 2016:



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.


Anyway, if you clicked on a link that looked like this, on a sidebar on CNN or on  Washingtonpost.com:




and found a CNN report that touted the amazing benefits -- as shown by a Harvard(!) study -- of a pill called "Synagen IQ", or a pill called "Cogniq," you've come to the right place.  Both are clearly scams, because the reports use the same fake celebrity endorsements (Stephen Hawking, Anderson Cooper, Bill Gates, Ashton Kutcher, Denzel Washington, Tom Brady, and more), fake Harvard doctors, fake CNN doctors, and even the same pathetic typos in describing fake results of these fake and fraudulent pills.

It's difficult to associate either product with a particular company name (if you're in the scam business, you'll change company and product names frequently).  Here are some names that Cogniq has been associated with:  Deepsea Nutrition, EyeFive, Urevive Inc, and CogniQ LLC, all of which have the same address:  7308 S. Alton Way, Centennial, Colorado.  I hope somebody catches up to them soon and shuts them down.

I had two separate posts up, but I've now consolidated them into this one.  That should make things easier for anyone investigating this matter for law enforcement.  Here are the two posts:

Original post, with many updates:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Synagen IQ Scam and Fake CNN Report

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!
Ok, that was the fake report about Synagen IQ, including fake comments and all.

And here is my blog post on the fake report about Cogniq:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Cogniq Scam and Fake CNN Report

A couple of days ago, I blogged about the fake "CNN Report" that has been appearing for Synagen IQ.  Googling around a little bit, I found that an almost identical fake CNN report, including the same typos, has been circulating about Cogniq.  I actually predicted this in my original post -- that the names mean almost nothing; the game here is to get people to buy the stuff before they can figure out that it's all a big scam.  As long as they can stay one step ahead of bloggers like me (i.e. people who capture their fake reports and help expose the scam), they'll always be able to sell their snake oil under some other name.  If you google "Synagen IQ scam CNN," you might get my initial blog post, but if you google "Cogniq scam CNN", you might not.

For me (and some of the commenters on my original post), the fake report appeared on a real-seeming side bar on CNN.  The "Cogniq" report apparently would come up if you clicked on a Stephen Hawking link on a sidebar to the Washington Post at washingtonpost.com.  Here's a reproduction of the Coqniq report, which I found over at sickhorses.com here (I've eliminated Toma's hilarious comments; you can click on the link to see them):








Stephen Hawking, Ashton Kutcher, and The Biggest Event In Human History



CogniQ great human event

CogniQ CNN page
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Stephen Hawking said that his brain is sharer than ever, more clear and focused and he credits a large part to using Cogniq Hawking went on to add “The brain is like a muscle, 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 West have nothing but praise for the brain booster, which doubles IQ, skyrockets energy levels and connects areas of the brain not previously connected.

CogniQ bill gates
And:
CogniQ anderson cooper
Also:
CogniQ ashton kutcher

CogniQ johnny depps favorite drug
The Lead Researcher on the team Dr.Rosenhouse gave us an exclusive inside look at the ingredients that make up this revolutionary smart drug…
“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.”
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
With the full market release of the supplement scheduled for later this year, Cogniq is bound to make a splash. Experts say government intervention is likely to limit the release of the supplement due to its potent effects…
CogniQ



In other words, the fake CNN report for Cogniq is essentially identical to the fake CNN report for Synagen IQ.  I sure hope that not too many people are sending money to these crooks.

If anyone reading this is aware of any other such fake, disappearing CNN reports like these -- on any topic whatsoever -- please send a comment.  This could be a whole new kind of fraud that could do a lot of harm to a lot of people.  
  
So those are my two posts.  If these people can be identified, this alone should be enough to shut them down.  Submit a complaint to the FTC!

127 comments:

  1. I truly believe this is a scam, and the writer of this blog is right, it is outrageous how you can publish a fake CNN news, etc...I saw this today on the Comcast page, not as an advertisement scam, so I shocked about the claim of this product properties and all these personalities, unbelievable, outrageous, I have no idea how is possible this!!!

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    1. Thanks for the comment. One of the commenters on my earlier post (which got consolidated into this post) made the point that it's just not worth the time and trouble for celebrities to track down and sue people who misuse their names this way. So don't count on Anderson Cooper or Stephen Hawking to put a stop to this; and you can count on other sleazy businesses to start using these kinds of tactics. The best approach if you've been scammed by something like this -- or even are just a concerned citizen -- is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc

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    3. Steven Hawking will think the same thing I did when this popup was on my screen. "I would never say the brain is like a muscle. It's not at all like muscle. Who wrote this?"

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  2. Total crap. It doesn't take long to figure out it is a scam, though, since the references and claims are so overstated. Isn't this illegal? I found it on MSN News this morning - Sept 1, 2015. D in Alabama

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    1. Thanks; it looks like they were just about everywhere today. I saw the Hawking picture on cnn, and if I refreshed the screen, it would go away (and be replaced by something that looked more like an ad), but if I refreshed it enough times, the Hawking picture came back. It's gotta be illegal; somebody just needs to file a complaint with the FTC to get them investigated and shut down.

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  3. I took it and looked into my mirror holy crap I'm Bradly Cooper

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    1. I got the ad today from an Amazon pop up and every comment was positive and also said posted an hour ago thanks for the warning here's the site that popped up on my phone http://s3.amazonaws.com/mybenefit/fb/brain01.html?sid=iw45n

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    2. Thanks for reporting that Tamara. Sad that this scam seems to be spreading instead of being shut down by the FTC, or by CNN.

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    3. Thanks for reporting that Tamara. Sad that this scam seems to be spreading instead of being shut down by the FTC, or by CNN.

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  4. Sept 1., 9:40 am... What boggles the mind is why would CNN let it stay up? My opinion of CNN just took a huge nosedive because it was using the CNN banner.

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    1. My guess is that CNN has no idea. In this day and age, it's just computers talking to computers, and the computers have no way of realizing what's going on here. But by now CNN should certainly have heard that these "ads" are out there, and they should be at the forefront of those calling to shut these snake oil sellers down . . . .

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  5. Saw this on Sept 1 at about 12:30p EST. I cannot believe that this type of advertising is actually possible to run on CNN and other popular sites. Disgusting crap.

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    1. Yeah they are going wild today -- I personally saw it on both cnn and on cox.com today. I agree it must be illegal, but I have a feeling these crooks will be hard to track down, and they'll keep reappearing under different names, selling the same garbage.

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    2. They have, I found webpages here in India selling it under the name Brain Plus IQ, with the same references and images of Stephen Hawking and Denzel Washingtion along with Anderson Cooper.

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  6. Wow, I almost fell for it! I figured if Anderson uses it why not! Good thing I found this post before ordering. I seen the ad on 09/01/15...

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    1. I'm glad you found it too. I wonder how many sales they made today . . . .

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  7. 9/1/15 2 pm Is on CNBC website, looks like a regular story until you open it and realize this has to be fake which brought me here. I saw Hawking and thought oh I wonder what he's talking about. Crazy!

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    1. MSN, Comcast, CNBC, CNN, and Cox so far. I assume they are just buying advertising space on "news" type pages, and it looks enough like "news" that people click on it. And sadly, some people trust Anderson Cooper and CNN enough to think it might just work. Not a bad scam, but a scam all the same.

      Delete
  8. I didn't buy any, but found this site and am as outraged as everybody else about this scam. Following your advice and link I submitted an anonymous complaint to the FTC. It only took a couple minutes and I got a receipt with a reference number of 65703157. The receipt said I could call 877-382-4357 to speak with a counselor. If others are too lazy to file a complaint they can just call that number!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally someone takes my advice!! Let us know what happens when you call them!

      I'll update the main post with those numbers.

      Delete
    2. I'll be calling too and use the reference number and come back let you know what they tell me too.

      Delete
  9. I just saw this fake news story on CNN's site. http://www.cnn.com-news.report/us/brain01/cnn/hawking-2015.php?sid=joss01&q=1auj3m5

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That looks like the same link I saw. And sure enough, if you use it now, it redirects to http://www.lulus.com/whats-new/page1-60.html. I wonder how they do that? I wonder if lulus knows . . . .

      Delete
  10. I just saw the ad on CNN too. I didn't believe that they were allowed to run such a scam, so I googled it and found this page.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call me cynical, but I have a feeling CNN has already consulted its lawyers, and they have said it's just not worth going after these people. But feel free to try to get CNN's attention on this; it really is pretty crazy that people are able to sell products by fraudulently using the names, images, trademarks, etc of a respectable news organization.

      Delete
  11. Just saw it. Thought something was wrong. Here's something new to try. If you click the Synagen link it goes to Synagen's home page. However, there is an AFFILIATE ID embedded in the link. If you copy that link and send it to Synagen, they may close them down knowing they would get in a lot of trouble if they didn't. Alternatively you can send them a link to this page.

    My question is how does the ad get onto CNN in the first place in that spot? CNN needs to put a stop to this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either that or the FTC complaint should get them in trouble, but they'll probably just change their names and show up somewhere else.

      I agree about CNN -- as I just said, I think they probably already know about this and don't care, but maybe I'm wrong. You'd think they'd be able to put a stop to it -- the sellers of Synagen aren't too hard to find, since they are collecting people's money.

      Delete
  12. I just saw it on NBC News page, 9/4/15.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NBC news -- that's a new one as far as I've heard. It seems clear that they are placing these fake reports in places where people normally expect to see news . . . .

      Delete
  13. Saw this on cnn today just moments ago. Surprised CNN let's that get through, as they make it appear as a real CNN article. Only after I went back did I notice "Advertisement" at the bottom of the banner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, I've seen it with "advertisement" and without, but even when it says "advertisement," it's easy to convince yourself that it's talking about what appears below it (which in my experience has always been an ad). Bottom line is they are certainly doing this by paying for advertising, so sometimes the host site will be smart enough to label it as such. But apparently not always.

      Delete
  14. on weather channel .com

    (\img src="https://cdn2sitescout-a.akamaihd.net/cpcode165/hawk-shock22-brain101-300x250-6e8bf96.jpg" alt="" style="border:0 none">

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. weather channel -- another new one. They are targeting people who like to be informed.

      Delete
  15. CNN.com sidebar http://www.cnn.com-news.report/us/brain01/cnn/hawking-2015.php?sid=joss01&q=1auk32g

    Ad serving company is sitescoutadserver:
    https://d1vq1p4wbzam8w.sitescoutadserver.com/click?clid=cfd92562d8&rand=1441401656059

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's good to know -- is there something we can do to shut THEM down?

      Delete
  16. Saw this on CNN today 09/04/15 as an AD on their home page.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on this and another comment, maybe CNN's software is getting better at labeling this is an ad. That might not be completely in CNN's financial interest -- the reason they call other paid ads "promoted stories" is so that people aren't discouraged from clicking on them, which presumably gives revenue to CNN.

      Delete
  17. If you google 'synergen iq reviews' you get a number of articles headlined 'Scam exposed.' However, most won't open, and the ones that do are further advertisements, with the only 'downsides' listed being that there is no list of ingredients and that the pills are only available on line. Clearly more material attached to the scam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess that if you're selling a scam product, you try to fill up the internet with "scam" hits for your product, so that sites like this don't show up on the first page of search hits. It's not working for this particular scam.

      Delete
  18. I'll be calling the 800 number to complain and let you know what they say. For some reason this bothers me so much because I've been duped twice into clicking on this ad and I'm not the type to click on ads like that. I imagine it's the outright lie and the wording that makes me think it's not an ad and something scientific I'll be reading. Jeez!!! Thanks for writing this piece and for all the great info on this scam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your response and for taking the initiative with calling -- let's hope others do as well. If enough people call, the FTC will do something, I hope! Looking forward to hearing back from you.

      Delete
  19. Saw the add just as you described and suspected it was a scam so did a google search and found this blog. I can't believe with the resources CNN has (investigative reporting), that this is still out there. Saw it today 9-5-15.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I was thinking. This would be the perfect thing for Anderson Cooper to do an investigation on. Seriously, if there are any investigative journalists out there, they could do some good work exposing this kind of scam and working to make sure it doesn't happen again.

      Delete
  20. The CSS isn't optimized in certain browsers. That clued me in that this was a malicious redirect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of us saw something starting with http://www.cnn.com-news.report . . . ., and that's what put us off our guard, until the article itself became increasingly unbelievable. It's sad that there are skilled programmers who are willing to get paid to do stuff like this (of course, given the amount of viruses and malware infesting the internet, we all know that there are a lot of very anti-social programmers out there). I hope that the programmers get tracked down as well -- they are the ones that make this scam possible. And if they are willing to do this sort of thing for SynagenIQ, they will doubtless be using their talents to fleece members of the public in other ways as well.

      Delete
  21. Saw it on xfinity's website at around 7:30 PM central time on Septer 6th, 2015. It had basically the same ad look, but instead had a picture of the Christian Cross. Same fake CNN article with a Johnny Depp fake endorsement and a whole sidebar with links that redirected to their website. It was for synagen. The article is here: http://www.cnn.com-news.report/us/brain01/cnn/hawking-2015.php?sid=74-2903&q=1aupmi4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Xfinity definitely fits the "gateway site" pattern. There are a lot of people who mainly use their internet access to access their email through their cable company, and they are the easiest marks for this kind of scam. The Christian Cross is an interesting angle. The picture in the main post has an alien spacecraft behind Stephen Hawking, and I've also see one with a nuclear explosion behind him, but I haven't seen the Christian Cross yet. Something to look for.

      Delete
  22. This article appeared in the list of legitimate stories on CNN site, I stupidly decided what the heck blow $49 and try it. Site did not provide page showing order, charged me $189 instead of $49, called cust support immediately and cancelled, did get confirmation of cancelled order, will double check again. I am extremely stringent about not clicking anything suspicious, and it ps's me off that CNN would allow a realistic looking story in the main story column, no excuse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. You ventured farther than most of the other commenters here; I hope you get your money back. No matter what, please call the FTC at 877-382-4357, give them reference number 65703157, and tell them about your experience. You'd be doing hundreds or thousands of potential victims a service!

      Delete
  23. September 8th - This has been on AOL for the last several days...in several "places" - when you send a message out a link to it appears...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks -- I don't think anyone had reported AOL yet. They really seem to be covering all of the main access points for the Internet. I'm just surprised that this seems to be the only site trying to do something about it. Millions of people must have seen the link by now, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that millions have clicked on it, just to see what Stephen Hawking has to say. And even if only a small percentage of people fall for the scam and place an order, the company is making money hand over fist with these "ads."

      Delete
  24. I saw the add last week on CNN. Very believing. So I started to buy a sample and then backed out. A couple hours later I get a phone call saying they noticed I almost made a purchase,? How did they know that if I X'd out of the screen? So they proceed to tell me they will send it to me free. Then wanted to enrol me in another vitamin and then a magazine subscription. I hung up the phone. Unreal...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty creepy. But it must work a certain percentage of the time, or they wouldn't do it!

      Delete
  25. It was in the sidebar of Laptopmag.com - looked just like the one described above - a CNN interview

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. I went to laptopmag.com and saw it there, but laptopmag.com seems like a fake site to me. I cut and pasted some of their content, googled it, and found that it had appeared elsewhere as well (try it with "BERLIN - The flagging tablet market is in desperate need of some innovation. Some companies are opting for odd add-ins such as projectors.").

      I really have no idea how the Internet works, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that things are just not as they appear, much of the time.

      I probably shouldn't even speculate, but the Hawking thing really looks out of place on laptopmag. I wonder if the pill-sellers really paid for space on laptopmag, or whether it's all part of the same
      scam, and copycat content sites like laptopmag are simply used to help sell pills.

      Don't get me wrong, maybe laptopmag is fine, and maybe it's perfectly legitimate for different sites to be recycling the same content (kind of like AP news stories). If they are providing useful information, what's the harm? But like I said, nothing is as it appears. (And [suspicious person that I am] I even can't help wondering if this "Texas unknown" commenter has a hidden agenda.)

      Delete
  26. Found the ad on CNN 9/8/15, but they were promoting it under the name "Neurocell". Then I found the exact same ads using the name Synagen IQ, instead of Neurocell, when I did some research. Their fake ad looked very convincing, especially when it was on CNN.com, but it just seemed too good to be true (especially the outrageous claims at the bottom from supposed reviewers), so I had to search around and check it out. Glad I did!

    The link it led me to when I clicked on it is:
    http://com-news.report/us/brain01/cnn/hawking-neuro2.php?sid=74-2902

    Thanks for having this posted. I'm sure it's saving people a lot of aggravation and headaches!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I checked this out too. I can't find any reference to "neurocell" as a nutritional supplement on the internet. But the provided link does in fact have the same fake CNN story, but starring "Neurocell" and not "SynagenIQ" or "Cogniq." I went ahead and copied that ad into another blog post (should be above somewhere) -- if anyone else sees Stephen Hawking hawking Neurocell, let me know.

      As mentioned in that post, I'm now wondering if perhaps the scam starts with whoever wrote the report. Maybe the fake report is available for sale for any IQ-enhancing pill-peddler who wants a quick bump in sales. If I had to guess, I'd bet the sellers of the report are able to point to some very impressive sales figures that result from using this ad.

      It sure would be nice if some investigative journalist would pick up this story, unravel, and tell us all what's going on. And make it stop.

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

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

      Delete
    2. I had to delete an anonymous comment due to use of profanity. I've reproduced it below, along with my reply:

      AnonymousSeptember 11, 2015 at 4:20 PM

      it's absolutly a scam and anyone that can't see that is ridiculously blind. com-news.report could be used for ANY WEBSITE ea, you register a domain com-news.report (.report is a new TLD became available a while back, and thi is a scam that's been going on for a while. I'm actually surprised there isn't some ethical hackers out there taking action as no one else will be able to.

      And sites like this, all you're doing is promoting their keyword wriging a huge article with copies of all their ads (not screen shots but actual text copies)

      it makes me wonder if you're not part of it.

      F------ed up!

      Delete
    3. The Price Fixer September 11, 2015 at 7:35 PM

      I copied it so anyone doing an investigation will be able to look at a reasonable facsimile of their ad. I'm never able to find it on the internet, so I think I'm doing a service by copying it here. Like I said in my other reply, if anyone who gets to this blog is dumb enough to buy these pills, I don't think there's much hope for them in the first place.

      But maybe I don't understand how I'm "promoting their keyword" and how that's a problem. If I search for the names, I find mostly their ads (or more of their scam fake reviews etc); they already have that keyword covered. And I think it's a good thing that this blog is an easy search hit, because as far as I can tell, this is one of only a very few sites on the internet that have noticed this scam.

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

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

      Delete
  29. And here's another anonymous comment, presumably from the same person, that I had to delete for use of profanity:

    Anonymous September 11, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    in fact, i'm actually almost 100% sure, this price fixer blog spot is part of the scam. Theres a whole f---ing network of scam sites associated with this, and I can prove the entire thing.

    What's wrong with you f---ing people, if you're so smart as to do this, then use your talents for something worth while, you can make so much more legatimately, too bad you won't ever figure that out.

    Get some f---ing ethics. Anyone who is a smart internet marketer would be able to figure out the keyword associations, and the content network that is infecting everything with this. Ya, it's a smart SEO method, and gives me some really grand ideas, however, you really should not f--- people over, it comes back to bite in the end. believe me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Price FixerSeptember 11, 2015 at 7:30 PM

      I understand where this person is coming from -- on the Internet, nothing is what it seems, and everything could be a scam. But this blog is NOT part of the scam. If anyone is dumb enough to buy any of those brain pills after reading what I've said about them, I suppose they get what they deserve. And again, if you want to stop this, just call the FTC (877-382-4357), and give them reference number (65703157) and ask them what they're doing about it. And feel free to tell them you think the Pricefixer blog might be part of the scam. Whatever works for you; just call them.

      Delete
    2. It sounds more likely to me like the profanity guy is part of scam network because he seems to be really irritated that people are verifying the scam through this site! What a numb nut.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, that seemed possible to me, but I like to give my commenters the benefit of the doubt!

      Delete
    4. Yeah, that seemed possible to me, but I like to give my commenters the benefit of the doubt!

      Delete
  30. I saw the ad but the link didn't take me to CNN.Com, it took me to http://www.cnn.com-news.report/us/brain01/cnn/hawking-2015.php?sid=stitch01&q=1avbe9i whixh is NOT CNN. Other than that, everything is the same as in this article. If this product actually worked it would be world news by now, no a sidebar scam.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just to make sure folks understand this; CNN is CNN.Com, NOT www.cnn.com-news.report. This is a FAKE website setup just for this scam. I mean come on folks, if all of a sudden Google.com became Google.com-YouAreIncrediblyStupid.kissmybutt would you still think it was Goggle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for clarifying. Of course, I don't think anybody necessarily thinks that the URL is CNN. The problem is if you're on CNN and you click on what looks like a link to another CNN story, and then you see Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper, and CNN logos all over the place, you don't always double check the URL. At least you don't until you realize how far-fetched the story is.

      The problem is that people's guards are down when they think they are watching/reading honest news reporting -- that's why so many ads are fake news reports and news stories.

      Delete
  32. the link was on my aol mail home page. It is disturbing that online companies get away with taking advantage of people like this. As my mom would say if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If in fact something groundbreaking like this were discovered it would be all over the news. you know the real news on TV. the news that tells us at least part of the truth, another avenue for scumbags to prey on the gullible and the desperate. We a civilization are in big trouble

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm. This thing has been going on for nearly a month now (probably longer; it's just that I only noticed it a month ago). aol, msn, comcast, and cox, not to mention cnn, have all been happily accepting payment from the scumbags who are using the fake story to sell their fake brain pills. By now, I'm sure someone has alerted the ISPs to the scam. And yet apparently, they are still allowing the link on their sites, and probably getting paid for it. I wonder how that works exactly? At some point, you would think the people who permit the ads to be placed become at least partially responsible for the damage that they cause.

      Here's an article that explains that liability for false advertising can extend pretty darn far, although it doesn't quite say that we can hold the ISPs liable in this case: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/202844/advertising+marketing+branding/The+Scope+Of+Liability+For+False+Advertising+Claims

      Maybe that's the next step.

      Delete
  33. If you thought this was a scam on CNN, then did you contact CNN to let them know about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't know how I would do that anonymously, so I'm relying on the people reading this to do that. Anyone reading this, you'd do the world a favor by contacting CNN and letting them know about this scam. They must be getting ad revenue from somewhere, and they should be able to trace it.

      Delete
  34. Came across this hi jinks today 10/21/15 while reviewing legit articles on USA Today app. I was fooled for a couple of minutes , then thought the better of and it to be active scam
    The thing is that somehow it got included in
    USA today regular articles.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Very interesting. The link to their page appeared as a Facebook post on my iphone Wunderground ap. I was curious about it because rather than the ship from the "District 9" movie to the right of Mr Hawking's picture, there was a cross with light rays beaming past it. Knowing that Mr Hawking is an atheist, I curiously followed the link. After doing a little Googling, I found your article. How is the world are these people skirting around FCC regs without being sued by CNN, Facebook, Mr Hawking, or all of the other celebrities for their fabricated endorsements?!

    Another really important question: Who is this person that know's who Stephen Hawking is and would actually fall for and purchase this snake oil BS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm astonished as well, but I've been told that it's just not worth celebrities' while to go after this kind of thing. Lawyers, you know. But it's clearly illegal. The scam was reported to the FTC over a month ago, but it seems clear that the FTC hasn't done anything about it. Let's all call them and ask them what they're doing about it.

      FTC: 877-382-4357; Ref. No. 65703157.

      And in answer to your second question, maybe the people who end up buying are the ones who click because they recognize District 9! There's clearly a percentage of people out there who see the ad and then buy the product. It may be a small percentage, but if one percent of a million people buy the product, they've sold ten thousand bottles.

      Delete
    2. I'm astonished as well, but I've been told that it's just not worth celebrities' while to go after this kind of thing. Lawyers, you know. But it's clearly illegal. The scam was reported to the FTC over a month ago, but it seems clear that the FTC hasn't done anything about it. Let's all call them and ask them what they're doing about it.

      FTC: 877-382-4357; Ref. No. 65703157.

      And in answer to your second question, maybe the people who end up buying are the ones who click because they recognize District 9! There's clearly a percentage of people out there who see the ad and then buy the product. It may be a small percentage, but if one percent of a million people buy the product, they've sold ten thousand bottles.

      Delete
  36. Good morning! It is now known as "Nuerocell."
    Same exact line of bull...."I took this pill and became CEO in six weeks!" I saw that line and laughed out loud.
    Too bad folks will buy it anyway...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank-you for your website! I almost bought Neurocell but I was on my phone reading about it and thought I'd google it first on my laptop before ordering it. The article said it was just released today- Nov. 26th on CNN.-
    scammers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for writing; judging by yesterday's and today's hits, they've had a lot of ads up lately. I have a feeling the scam is quite successful, or they wouldn't still be doing it, with little change. I guess people tend to overlook the clues (especially while reading their cell phones), and tend to assume that it can't be fake, because that would be totally illegal.

      I wonder when the FTC is going to actually start making a move on this.

      Delete
  38. They are now using Trump and the BBC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to assume this is a joke, since even the most gullible among us are not likely to think that Trump's IQ has doubled any time recently.

      But if it's true, send me a link or some real proof and I'll post it. That goes for anyone else who sees some variant of this scam that I haven't posted about yet -- this is NOT a full time job for me; I just post what I happen to see. I have a feeling there is a lot more to this scam than is reported here).

      Delete
  39. Ok just a few tho... Here's a few of the many legitimate studies I found:
    http://www.nchttp://www.pubfacts.com/detail/21925152/Anti-Parkinsonian-effects-of-Bacopa-monnieri-insights-from-transgenic-and-pharmacological-Caenorhabdbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC31
    53866/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21925152/ Effects of Bacopa on Parkinson's
    Ok you go do your own research. Please let me know if any links did not come through or feel free to Google yourself. There's a lot there

    ReplyDelete
  40. December 17, 2015 at 11:20 a.m., a fake CNN breaking news popped up on my wife's phone. It linked Stephen Hawking to the pill, in which Hawking praised the pills effectiveness. The breaking news was entirely credible until she realized that CNN would never sponsor a specific brand. They might discuss a new medical break-through but they get paid for ads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reporting that John -- that could explain why I've been getting so many hits without comments lately; people are seeing the ads on their phones.

      Your comment prompted me to check page views by browser. It turns out 50% of my page-views for these Synagen/Neurocell posts are coming from Safari, compared to 20% from Chrome and only 2% (!) from Internet Explorer. That seems like a very strange distribution; I wonder what it means. Maybe they are mainly targeting apple users for some reason . . . .

      Delete
  41. Brain Scientists Invent World's First IQ Boosting Supplement.

    BY RICHARD MASON
    Updated 0202 GMT(0902HKT) Thursday, January 28, 2016

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this comment -- I googled it and found the byline -- with today's date -- and it's another of the same ads, this time for Synapsil, although they accidentally call it Addium at one point. I created another post with a copy of that ad.

      Without readers like you, I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the name changes!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for this comment -- I googled it and found the byline -- with today's date -- and it's another of the same ads, this time for Synapsil, although they accidentally call it Addium at one point. I created another post with a copy of that ad.

      Without readers like you, I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the name changes!

      Delete
  42. I saw one today that appeared to be a Discovery Channel add:

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/mybenefit/fb/hawkingdiscovery.html?sid=us40_dis

    The page is almost word for word what you posted with a few changes. "Kanye West" is now capitalized. Stephen Hawking however, is still quoted with atrocious grammar.

    Be warned, they are still out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for spotting this and sharing it. I took a look and I see that Bear Grylls, like Anderson Cooper, also did a 14-day trial, and had exactly the same experience. And I mean EXACTLY the same, down to the punctuation.

      I've reproduced them side by side in a new post; maybe Bear Grylls will step up to the plate and help put a stop to this scam, which is victimizing elderly people.

      Delete
  43. Just saw on my iPad listed as geniex (I think, I can't find it now!!)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Synagen IQ -- BEWARE THIS IS A SCAM
    When you order this product it must be returned within a short period of time or you will be a member and get this stuff shipped forever and billed - but huge. Then to really help the scam industry you will be enrolled in a weight loss product with no cancellation features, and billed on the basis that you accepted the first shipment.

    ReplyDelete
  45. It's now being called Intellux but same scam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. got it - thanks (pricefixer.blogspot.com/2015/09/intellux-scam.html)

      Delete
  46. But the science editor of NBC News supposedly tried these pills...IS THAT A FAKE TOO?

    ReplyDelete
  47. But the science editor of NBC News supposedly tried these pills...IS THAT A FAKE TOO?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Yes, absolutely fake. If you provide a link, I'll check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  49. seems the whole internet become a scam business from stockmarket to supplement and vitamines how can an average person protect himself ?

    ReplyDelete
  50. I only collect the scams I see personally, and that aren't completely obvious. I'm sure there are many many more our there.

    The sad thing is that there is only a very fine line between the downright lies told by false advertisers like whoever is pushing these supplements, and the pseudotruths told by corporations like CVS that will sell you generic medicine at brand prices if you don't know the magic words, or have the sense to go to Wal-Mart or Target. Or the drug companies themselves, which will push their patented drugs over equally effective generic substitutes.


    It's not just the internet -- it is just that everyone out there is trying to make a few extra bucks off of the trusting and inattentive masses.

    In fact, the internet should be a tool that consumers can use to fight back against information inequality, and expose scams, frauds, and dirty tactics wherever possible.

    ReplyDelete
  51. July 24, 2016. A friend just sent me the exact same "news story" on "Geniux". Same claims, same phony scientists, the whole phony thing. Someone else noted something on the blackboard which SEEMS to be behind Hawkins, and if you look carefully, nothing written there makes any sense. "funkasauras"? McMahon = god? Some scammers idea of being cleaver, I'd guess.

    Good work on fighting these crooks. Too bad government agencies who are supposed to protect gullible people like my friend don't seem to be doing their job.

    PS: I'd sign my name (Harvey), but I'm not linked to anything listed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Harvey. That's hilarious about the blackboard; I didn't notice that before but I just scrolled up and you're right -- I can definitely make out "funkasaurus" and also "McMahon (or Malcolm?)= god?" And yeah, Geniux seems to be doing pretty well with the gullible -- I'm getting a lot of hits on that post!

      Delete
  52. yes just saw it from a link on face book

    ReplyDelete
  53. Today I read a story about the FBI director whining again because they can't get into our smart phones, instead of doing the job they should, like protecting people from this kind of fraudulent scam. Just saw it on a website masquerading as a Forbes article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly -- if the government is so concerned with protecting us from all of these perceived threats that they need to hack into our i-phones, why aren't they protecting us from REAL threats that do harm to vulnerable and elderly citizens every day?

      Sadly, this scam is just the tip of the iceberg on what the government could be doing but isn't to protect us from rapacious and unethical practitioners of "free enterprise."

      Delete
  54. Still going strong. Just saw the Synagen fake Forbes article/CNN/Anderson Cooper/Stephen Hawking spiel pop-up on my Android device. I don't know if this was a pop-up from another link that I intentionally clicked or an accidental click while scrolling...

    To me it was immediately obvious that this was a complete and total scam but I am naturally skeptical when wild claims, as these types of products make, are tossed about.

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  55. I stopped at the usage of "got" in Hawking's endorsement. Hilarious.

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  56. I stopped at the usage of "got" in Hawking's endorsement. Hilarious.

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  57. I did a search at the Harvard Web site and the name Rosenhouse was not found. The search included both students and faculty.

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  58. Just found you w/google search after encountering fake CNN site today, 11/12/2016.. It's still out there.

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  59. Found it today with Trump endorsing - - Hope Trump goes after them.

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  60. 12/13/2016 The fake CNN ad is on ESPN's website

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  61. 12-16-16
    Still up running strong. Why can't someone shut these assholes down?

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  62. add still around 2/27/17

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    Replies
    1. Coming up on two years and going strong. someone's getting rich. Thanks for posting.

      Delete
  63. 3/2/17 Still Up and Running

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  64. Today this article popped up for me in a popup window.

    Says it's a Tuesday, March 7 Special Editorial from Jon Stewart

    This was the link:
    http://socialaffluent.com/breaking-story/report5/syncompliant.html?region=California&siteid=280&campaignid=21666&placementid=45203&channel=News&subchannel=Conservative+News&c=0.01585&trvjs=t&sxid=3uy3n0zgo47a

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  65. I found this post as I was trying to find out more information on the supplement. I saw the story this evening on the Yahoo news page. It sure looked like a CNN story! Until I got to the link & info to purchase it at the end. My parents are in their mid 70s & I was interested in the article because of them. Can you imagine how many elderly people are falling for this, not knowing how to tell that it's fake? It makes me sad! Thanks for posting this & confirming my thoughts.

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  66. Look; if CNN doesn't hire people (sleuths and lawyers) to go after these typical capitalist predators .....they must be on board with it. Free advertising.

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  67. Filed a complaint with the BBB I am a senior citizen and thought this was ok with Anderson Cooper approving it. Here is my complaint to the BBB.

    The Website just popped up It offered trial of Synagen IQ for only shipping of $4.95. It said it be delivered march 20th 2017 the order was placed march 18th. 2017. Of course it did not come in 2 days. NOWHERE did it say I was subscribing to a repeat service.

    I found this out only after I placed the order in Very small print very light text at the very bottom of the page. It said 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. If I had not seen that they would have charged $84.71 on my CC every month. I called and canceled it 5 minutes later. I contacted my CC right away and disputed the $4.95 I want the $7.50 cost I had to pay to ship this back to them. This Co. is a HUGE SCAM not only for this product but for many others. THEY SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN!! How many unsuspecting people have to be scammed while they continue to STEAL MILLIONS!! I plan on reporting this Co. to my local congressman so they can start an investigation into this SCAM Co. and I suggest others do the same!! I'M MAD As HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!


    I want the $7.50 cost I had to pay to ship this back to them. And I also want any $84.71 charges refunded that ever show up on my CC from this so called Co. This Co. is a HUGE SCAM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hank -- I'm glad you took action, and I hope you get some results. I hope when you talk to the Better Business Bureau you also specifically tell them about the false advertising and fake endorsements that caused you to order the product in the first place.

      Feel free to send them to this site -- it shows that the scam has been going on for a long time, and they might find other useful evidence here.

      Please report back to us what happens with your complaint!

      Delete
  68. Oh Goodness, happened to me the same. They have a service contact center but they never answer the line. I have been charged with 11.00 and never received the pills.

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  69. OK... You guys get that this is NOT a CNN website, right? http://www.cnn.com-news.report is a page on a server (www.cnn) in the "com-news.report" domain. The "report" TLD is a fringe TLD with domain names sold by GoDaddy and Dynadot. The ownership of "com-news.report" itself is hidden behind Dynadot's privacy protection. So there's no hacking of CNN's site or bazaar virus involved here. The URL is clearly designed to dupe unwary visitors into believing they're looking at CNN's site. This is the same kind of scam used for fishing attacks on bank account holders. Would you type your Bank of America account password into a "bofa.com-account.info" web page? If so, you will have given the fraudsters the keys to your bank accounts at "bofa.com". If you're going to play on the world wide interwebs, it's time you learned how to read a URL.

    ReplyDelete