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Oprah calls weight loss supplements by her name

Oprah Winfrey posted an Instagram video warning fans not to buy diet pills using her name and image.

Oprah Winfrey posted an Instagram video warning fans not to buy diet pills using her name and image.

Screenshots from Oprah’s Instagram Live

No, Oprah Winfrey does not sell diet pills.

The media mogul took to social media to explain that fraudsters are using her celebrity to sell weight loss supplements.

In a video shared with her more than 21.5 million Instagram followers, Winfrey warned against “social media ads, emails and fake websites” that use her name and likeness to push supplements to unsuspecting consumers. It’s unclear who is promoting the product — or whether the actual product even exists.

The award-winning journalist and talk show host raised the alarm after she said at least five people had contacted her asking how they could get their hands on the alleged chewing gum.

“It gets my attention many times. Someone there is abusing my name,” she said. “I have nothing to do with diet gum or diet pills. And I don’t want you all to take advantage of people who abuse my name.’

Rights groups say it’s not uncommon for scammers to use fake celebrity endorsements to trick consumers into buying goods and services. In 2016, Art Federal Trade Commission sued a Florida marketer accused of spamming and using fake endorsements to sell “unproven diet products.”

“The sites also falsely represented that the products were presented or endorsed by Oprah Winfrey or the hosts of the TV show ‘The Doctors,'” the commission said. “These fake news websites then linked to other websites where consumers could purchase the defendants’ weight loss products.”

It’s unclear whether consumers were hurt by the latest scam touting Oprah Winfrey’s name, or whether the media mogul plans to sue.

Thanasia is a real-time national reporter based in Atlanta covering news from Georgia, Mississippi and the Southeast. Its part is retail and consumer news. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and joined McClatchy in 2020.


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