Example of an acai berry-hawking website
Federal regulators are cracking down on websites that sell acai berry weight loss products using fake endorsements from established news organizations like CNN, Fox News and USA Today.
The US Federal Trade Commission made the announcement Tuesday, saying it had asked federal courts to freeze the assets of 10 operations selling acai berry products as weight-loss aids, reports AFP.
The websites often appear as if they are testimonials from legitimate newsgathering organizations.
"Almost everything about these sites is fake," David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "The weight loss results, the so-called investigations, the reporters, the consumer testimonials, and the attempt to portray an objective, journalistic endeavor."
Consumers also filed complaints about spending up to $100 for weight loss products believing they were legitimately endorsed, says AFP.
The FTC said the companies likely received more than $10 million in "ill-gotten" commissions through the sites, according to AFP.