Is It Fake or Is it Real?

Have you ever searched online for information about hair loss and all of a sudden, your social media feeds are full of ads, videos and influencers telling you that they have found “the perfect hair solution that will resolve all your hair loss issues?”  Well, welcome to the club!

Don’t even bother to understand how cookies are following your every online move, that’s another lengthy story. But be concerned about the fake advertising directed to you and the many products that may not be a good solution for your hair loss problem. Products that can even damage your hair or create more issues.

But how can we know what to buy? Who’s who and which is a bona fide brand? These are some of the questions that come to mind when we see the many hair products and solutions that pop up in our IG or Facebook feeds!

At #MNHD we are providing you with some tips for you to better understand what to look for when considering a brand or an online product.

Here’s our checklist:

    1. Reviews – Most of us tend to check on a product or service review, which is a good start. But sadly, now a days reviews can also be bought. For instance, last year, Google filed a lawsuit against dozens of companies and websites, accusing them of carrying out “a large-scale scam” to mislead small businesses by selling them “fake or worthless services,” including “the option of essentially flooding a competitor’s business profile” found on Google search with fake negative reviews or ratings. This and many other reviews scams were reported recently by the New York Times in the article titled Five Stars, Zero Clue: Fighting the ‘Scourge’ of Fake Online Reviews

The Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice (FTC), the federal government agency that works to stop deceptive and unfair business practices and scams, main recommendation when considering reviews has been to look at a variety of sources, including well-known websites that have trustworthy and impartial expert reviews.    

That’s still a very good place to start and here are some additional recommendations that they provide in their webpage:

    • Check how recent the reviews are and watch for a burst of reviews over a short period of time. That can sometimes mean the reviews are fake.

    • Check if the reviewer has written other reviews. If so, read those to get a better sense of how much you can trust that reviewer. If it seems that the reviewer has created an account just to write one review for one product, that review may be fake.

    • Don’t assume that, just by looking, you can spot the difference between a real review and a fake one. Some reviews may look suspicious, and some may look real, but it can often be nearly impossible to tell for sure. For example, you already know to watch out for reviews that seem too positive to be real, but some fake positive reviews give less than the highest possible rating in order to seem more believable.

    • Remember that fake reviews are not always positive. Sometimes, a company might post fake negative reviews to harm a competitor.

#MNHD also recommends that you take the time to search and learn about the company or product being offered, and why not, put them to the test:

    • When you visit their website check how long they have been in business? How recent is the information and the reviews? Do they update their site frequently? 

    • Check if they supply a contact number, try it to make sure it is actually working. Do they have a customer service email address, phone or live chat?

    • Also check their social media accounts and the kind of comments and responses they are getting from users.

    • Analyze the number of products a company has and the variety of services they offer.

    • Google the name of the company or the product and check if it’s a scam or not. There are many websites that are compiling info on scams and products that are false. If the company has been reported many times, it should come up in the search.

Internet scams can be tricky to identify, as scammers use various tactics to deceive and trick people. However, here are some common signs that may indicate that an offer or message you receive online is a scam:

  1. Unsolicited messages: If you receive a message or email from someone you don’t know or didn’t expect to hear from, be wary. Scammers often send unsolicited messages to try to gain your trust.

  2. Too good to be true offers: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious of promises of large sums of money, free gifts, or other unrealistic rewards.

  3. Urgency: Scammers often create a sense of urgency to pressure people into making quick decisions. Be wary of messages that claim you need to act immediately or risk missing out.

  4. Request for personal information: If a message asks for personal information such as your bank account details, credit card numbers, or social security number, it may be a scam. Legitimate companies generally won’t ask for this information via email or message.

  5. Poor grammar and spelling: Many internet scams originate from non-native English speakers. As a result, they often contain poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and awkward phrasing.

  6. Suspicious URLs: Check the URL of any website or link before clicking on it. Scammers may use URLs that look similar to legitimate sites to trick people into giving away their personal information.

If you encounter any of these signs, be cautious and do your research before taking any action. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

#MNHD Editorial Team

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