A company Cure Encapsulations selling herbal supplements that was ineffective in fighting fat is facing a fine of $12.8 Million for purchasing fake Amazon reviews. The fine forms a part of a settlement deal that the company has made with the FTC of US. FTC said that Cure had made a payment to a website that is now defunct to provide positive reviews in order to push the claims that its supplements helped people with weight loss. The company has been ordered against making unsubstantiated and false claims about its supplements.
The company claims that its pills, made out of the extracts of a variety of tamarind Garciniacambogia, can be used for weight loss. But according to the research conducted by US, these kinds of supplements have caused severe liver injury in people who used it regularly and the US government advised consumers that the pills had hardly any effect on weight loss.
The FTC said that the company spent huge amount of money to get positive Amazon reviews which were “fabricated” to make them look as if they were from real customers. The settlement had asked the company to contact its customers telling them of the official doubts about the effects of its pills. The settlement had also asked the company to get reliable scientific evidence for any claims that it makes for the supplements based on Sardinia in future.
Now a US judge must rule on as to whether the settlement is an apt remedy for the company’s conduct. The $12.8 Million fine that the company will pay depended on the cash the company had at its disposal, said the FTC. Andrew Smith, head of the division of consumer protection of FTC said that when people shop online, they rely on reviews. He said that when a company like this buys fake reviews, it not only hurts the consumers but also the companies that function according to the rules.