Content Phishing: "African Mango" make-believe health news review

This morning, I was curious enough to click on an ad on a web site (I click on very few ads) and I was led to a web site that talked about “African Mango”. Here’s a screenshot of the page I was taken to: you can click on it for a longer version, including all the content, down to the first “comments”:

As a patient advocate and a web user, I am always curious when I learn about these kinds of things… like the “reporter” from the “news web site”, I was curious to learn more about this new diet… Notice my use of quotes.

Why do I imply with my quotes that this is not a reporter writing about a new diet, or that this is not a news web site:

  • The page you land on when you click on the ad has the URL If you visit it and you try clicking on any of the U.S., World, Business, Politics, etc. sections of the news site and guess where it leads? BACK to the same page. This is a 1-page web site that only seeks to promote this so-called African Mango diet!
  • If you try to leave the web site, you are presented with a very classy “Are you sure you don’t want to take advantage of the African Mango and LeanSpa Cleanse Free Trial?” popup (see below). When was the last time you saw a news site doing this? Let me think…. ah…. right! NEVER!

  • Best of all, if you dare to post a comment in reply to this scam, you are (not surprisingly) taken to a broken page… I rest my case…

It’s not a real news site and they are not really doing what they say:

As part of a new series: “Diet Trends: A look at America’s Top Diets” we examine consumer tips for dieting during a recession

These guys are “content phishing”. I am not sure if it’s even a term that exists, but it’s the name I give to these kinds of practices, similar to the ones by people trying to make you believe you are visiting your bank web site, to steal your banking data (and money) from you. These kinds of practices are unethical and should not be allowed!

When you read about something that seems too good to be true, maybe it is! Please take a few moments to navigate around the site you get to. You may discover a lot, simply by clicking around as I did…

What’s sad is that, when I see practices like this one, I don’t even care any more if what they somehow got on Reuters Health about African Mango two years ago is true or not. Anyone willing to go to this extreme to promote their product is not going to get my money… and I hope they don’t get yours and they get sanctioned for┬ádeceiving┬ápeople this way!