Taking Down the Scammers: A Timeline

Here is a look at the steps taken to shut down fake product scammers.

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Dr. Oz Reveals PLN’s Statement on Its Supplements (3:16)

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission found a group of online marketers guilty of promoting fake dietary supplement and skincare ads after they sold over 40 health and beauty products using false health claims, made-up testimonials, fake ‘free trials’, made up websites like “goodhousekeepingtoday.com” and “womenshealthi.com,” and the use of celebrity images, including Dr. Oz, Paula Deen, Jennifer Aniston and many others, without their permission.

With the help of Oprah, Dr. Oz has been fighting the spread of fake ads for years now. Take a look at the timeline of events that led the FTC to crack down on those responsible. 

2009 

Dr. Oz and Oprah file a civil suit against merchants using their likeness to sell and promote acai berry.

2012

The Dr. Oz Show launches Oz Watch and dedicates an entire show in a fight to reclaim his name (you can watch it here).

2013

The “It’s Not Me” campaign launches to warn viewers about these scams.

2014

The Dr. Oz Takes Down the Scammers show airs, where Dr. Oz goes face-to-face with the scammers using his name to fool consumers.

2017

FTC passes a judgment of $179 million (the amount consumers paid due to false marketing) and will force Richard Fowler, Ryan Fowler, and Nathan Martinez (three men behind this scam), to pay $6.4 million to the Commission. These men run 19 companies, all under the umbrella known as Tarr, Inc.

If you would like to learn more about this crackdown, read the full FTC press release here. To learn how to spot fake news, check out these helpful tips here.