News10NBC Investigates: Spotting the scammers on big online marketplaces

News10NBC Investigates: Scams for sale

The News10NBC Team details breaking News, Traffic and Weather.

When you shop on sites like Amazon and, the products you find are not all sold by those two retail giants.

In fact, 60 percent of the products on Amazon are actually sold by independent businesses that pay Amazon to sell their products.

A viewer’s call about her nightmare experience with a business selling apple cider vinegar, or ACV, keto gummies turned into a four-month investigation for consumer investigator reporter Deanna Dewberry

Both Amazon and Walmart say sellers have to meet certain qualifications and comply with all company and legal standards. But on both sites, Dewberry found scams for sale, right there in plain sight.

An online ad purports to show singer Kelly Clarkson peddling a product.

“Today, I’ll share a secret method on how to lose weight without dieting or going to the gym. Please be aware of other keto scams. This is our only licensed product,” she says.

It looks like Clarkson is endorsing keto gummies, but scammers actually took a real video of Clarkson promoting an album and used AI to create a fake endorsement.

That’s not all. The scammers also created a website called where it claims Clarkson lost all that weight using its product.

It’s all a lie.

Dewberry’s investigation found the promoters of ACV keto gummies have flooded the internet with deceptive ads impersonating entertainers, health organizations, medical journals, cable news organizations – even Oprah Winfrey.

She took to Instagram on Oct. 30th, 2022 to say this: “I have nothing to do with weight loss gummies or diet pills and i don’t want you to be taken advantage of.”

But more than a year later, Dewberry found the products are still being sold Winfrey’s name.

“Shark Tank” star Lori Greiner posted a TikTok in December to warn people about fake ads using her likeness. Scammers are using countless AI generated ads to steal her voice and rip you off. She had this warning:

“Tell everybody you know because we need to shut down these scammers,” she said.

But shutting down these scammers is tough when trusted marketplaces like Amazon and allow the scammers to sell the gummies on their sites by using key words like “Shark Tank” and Oprah Winfrey.

One of the company names the sellers use is Rapid Results. A News10NBC viewer saw an ad for its keto gummies on Facebook and thought they were legitimate after finding the product for sale on Amazon. But before she clicked the “buy” button, she changed her mind.

“I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this. I better talk to my doctor,'” explained Cheryl DiStefano. “So I hit ‘cancel order.'”

But not only did Rapid Results fail to cancer her order, she learned they’d charged her far more: six bottles of gummies to the tune of $240 and also another $60 for detox pills.

“That’s when I was really, like, okay, something’s not right here,” DiStefano said.

Rapid Results has an ‘F’ rating on the Better Business Bureau because countless customers have complained that the same thing happened to them.

Dewberry has learned the scam is multi-faceted, involving the scammers creating countless fake websites like Expert Health Review and The Consumer Guide, which features health expert Peter Gold, and Today’s Health Reviews, which features health expert Charles Bloom.

Turns out, Peter Gold and Charles Bloom are the same guy – a guy whose name is neither Peter nor Charles – and he’s not even a doctor. He’s a stock photo model Dewberry found on Shutterstock. All this leaves no doubt: the keto gummies’ scam operation is enormous, manipulating every level of the buying process, from its marketing, to its websites, to its sales on legitimate American online marketplaces.

Ultimately, consumers pay the price.

Dewberry emailed Rapid Results repeatedly and eventually, it gave DiStefano a full refund while insisting its business is not a scam. Rapid Results would not answer any of her questions.

As for Walmart, a spokesman told Dewberry they’re investigating and Walmart removed the gummies with references to “Shark Tank” and Oprah Winfrey. But Rapid Results gummies are still for sale on their website. A statement from the company reads:

“We have removed this third-party item from our site while our Trust and Safety team conducts a review. Like other major online retailers, we operate an online marketplace that allows third-party sellers to offer merchandise to customers through our eCommerce platform. We expect these items to be safe, reliable and compliant with our standards and all legal requirements. Items that are identified to not meet these standards or requirements will be promptly removed from the website and remain blocked.”

It encourages customers who have concerns about third-party sellers to report them here.

Amazon answered no questions, removed the references to celebrities, but are still selling Rapid Results gummies.

So, how do you protect yourself? Look for flags like Photoshopping. If you see a product featured with a celebrity, look closely at the placement of the product for tell-tell signs of tampering.

Another red flag is if it’s a celebrity endorsement and the video quality is poor. That’s a dead giveaway.

Finally, if the claims are just too good to be true, they probably are.

Ordinarily, the first step would be to Google the business, but scammers even manipulate Google search results.

That’s part two of Dewberry’s investigation, airing Friday on News10NBC at 5.