AARP AARP States South Dakota Scams & Fraud

Fake News Websites Selling Fake Brain Booster Pills

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported that scammers are creating fake websites that look like known and trusted news sites to sell “brain booster” pills.

How it Works:


  • Scammers use the fake sites to post bogus articles about the pills with endorsements from people like Stephen Hawking and Anderson Cooper (neither has endorsed any such product).
  • The site then links you to the sales page for the “brain booster” pills where you can place an order with a credit or debit card

What You Should Know:

The scammers claim the pills will lead to an increase in concentration and memory recall, but there is no evidence to support these claims, according to the FTC.  These webpages have no affiliation with the legitimate news sites they mimic, nor are the fake articles true – the scammers are simply conning visitors to those news sites into buying their product.

Be conscious before you buy anything online; it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before purchasing health products.

What You Should Do:

If you already paid money to a scammer with a credit or debit card, you may still be able to get your money back.

  • Using the phone number on your monthly statement, call the card company immediately to alert them to the fraudulent charge and ask if you are still eligible to get your money back.
  • Ask your credit card provider if you should get a new card with a new number to prevent more charges that are fraudulent.

If you think you’ve spotted fake news, help to protect your friends and neighbors by reporting it to the SD Division of Consumer Protection at or calling 1-800-300-1986. If you saw the story on a social media site, you can also report the post through Facebook or Twitter, to help others avoid the same scam!

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Join the AARP Fraud Watch Network to receive regular alerts about scams like this happening in South Dakota. Any one of any age can join for free by visiting  To receive Fraud Watch Network alerts by phone, call 1-866-542-8172.

Spotted a scam?  Tell us about it.  Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state.  You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.



Photo credit: ©