Fake Facebook ads and scam diet products are unfortunately not new in this world. But they've found a new target, using our own Jay-Jay Feeney's photos to trick trusting Kiwis.
Earlier this week, Jay-Jay was alerted to some fake social ads running online, advertising an interview where she is "endorsing" fake keto weight loss pills. As part of the write-up, it describes Jay-Jay's weight journey as "the charming fatty girl" pushed to "breaking point" and thought she'd "die of hypertension, diabetes or cancer."
This fake interview then describes how she discovered this fake product, and includes photoshopped images of her from an old More FM photoshoot pretending to hold the product.
"And then trying to rip you guys off by you guys thinking Jay-Jay's selling weight loss pills," Flynny says.
"I don't care with what they're doing with my image..." Jay-Jay explains. "The problem is that people are believing it and are trying to buy the product."
Dale from our listener family saw the ad herself and contacted us when she started getting suspicious.
"I've seen [the scammers] use other images before of other people - so they're very smart," she explains.
"I've wondered about [that product] in the past... and I thought maybe it's legit, but they're definitely scamming."
"Facebook has become a scamming page now."
As part of this fake interview, with photoshopped images and pretend reviews, the webpage also has a button that directs you to their company site, and includes the phone number for a Wellington-based land-line.
When Jay-Jay called the number to speak to the scam call centre, the man on the other end pretended to be shocked at her claims, then quickly hung up on her.
Paulina strangely tells Flynny that the "keto gummies" from the article are "discontinued", and that he can only order their weight loss products from their website.
But when Flynny reveals the true nature of their call and tells them to take the fake article down, they bizarrely backtrack that they aren't connected to any celebrities, and soon hang up.
As of publishing this article, the fake article still exists.
"We're gonna file a police report right now, and these people need to get a life. You can't rip off everybody," Flynny shares.
"It's hard to say what you can do to avoid it," Jay-Jay adds. "But just be very, very, very cautious if you're buying something you've never seen before."