This intricate weight-loss scam might be the most elaborate lie ever told
How could this have happened? To ME??
It is the year 2018 and none of us are falling for Internet scams anymore. Sure, my mom still occasionally gets excited about winning a free Caribbean cruise from clicking on a pop-up. And sure, there are still people out here who genuinely buy into the emoji-riddled screeds about "manifesting the life you want" and "unlocking the secret to success" and get suckered into paying $600 to watch a series of videos where a skinny blonde lady lectures them about "believing in yourself" and "buy my $50 e-book to learn more."
But most of us aren't idiots. At least, I like to believe that I'M not an idiot. No indeed! Why, I consider myself a jaded cynic who has spent far too much time accessing the darkest recesses of the Internet. I know what humans and exceptionally well-programmed bots are capable of. I can smell a scam from a mile away! NOBODY can fool me!
That is, until I literally got tricked into clicking on a link that brought me to this page:
Now how did a seasoned Internet user such as MYSELF get sucked into almost buying some clearly bogus weight loss pills? After all, you're talking about a girl who spent her middle school years watching Gossip Girl illegally online by Googling "watch gossip girl free" and strategically finding the video players that didn't immediately download 12 different viruses onto my poor computer.
It all started with what seemed like a wholesome, pure, feel-good, body-positive Twitter thread.
Wow YEAH literally same!! I literally went through all of high school thinking that I was the ugliest creature alive because not a single boy ever looked at me. Then again, I did go through a serious glow-up phase where I got Invisalign and Accutane. After that, it was over for you hoes.
Since I'm a slut for feel-good threads about women embracing themselves, I decided to keep reading.
YES GIRL. YES. I was so ready for the inevitable "I realized that I'm beautiful just the way I am" or the "I decided to stop caring about what other people thought and now I'm happier than ever."
Things took a bit of a turn when it suddenly became a post about…losing weight instead.
So this was not at all what I was expecting, but my first reaction was, "Holy SHIT how did she do that in one month???" I was shook. And I really wanted to know what was up. What's the secret? What was the magical exercise regimen that did this? Did she cut out refined sugar from her diet or something?? I NEED TO KNOW.
And before you knew it, I was suckered into clicking on a link that led me to a clearly bullshit advertisement for weight loss pills. Goddammit Nian. How did I let this happen to myself? HOW?
In retrospect, there were quite a few red flags. This entire Twitter thread was unapologetically ripped off from a viral tweet originally penned by @liluziyert:
And second of all, the photos were BLATANTLY stolen from Twitter user @DeylachkaD who posted the photos originally to show off her six month transformation — yes, that's right, SIX MONTHS!! Not one month! Because, as some people already pointed out, losing that much weight in just one month is straight up impossible, even if you do have magic weight loss pills "as seen on CNN."
And yet…I was suckered into clicking on the ad. I came THIS CLOSE to sinking $600 into a subscription service that would've delivered snake oil pills to my house every single month until the end of time.
Honestly, I'm not even mad. I'm straight up frightened. Scammers are evolving. They know that I'm not going to click on an ad, no matter how cleverly it's packaged, that explicitly says it's for a weight loss product. Mama didn't raise a fool! But they DO know that feel-good body-positive female-empowerment Twitter threads are my Achilles heel. I may have a heart of steel 99% of the time, but I become a soft ball of sentimental mush whenever women talk about their insecurities and vulnerabilities. I will like and retweet that shit until I die.
They KNEW that deep down, I have a heart of gold. And they USED it against me. And now I can't even read feel-good body-positive Twitter threads without the sinking feeling that it's going to end with a link to a scammy weight loss product page. Thanks for ruining the one part of the Internet that actually brought me joy and comfort!!
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