updated 10/25/2010 7:45:57 AM ET 2010-10-25T11:45:57

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RabbitClone.com, a website duplication service that helps consumers avoid costly financial pitfalls, has announced identification of a fresh scam dealing with "healthy organic fresh acai berry" products. The products are based on the "fresh" fruit of the acai palm tree which is found in Brazil. The berries have been at the center of a recent healthy eating and fitness fad in the United States and Europe. The products are being sold on the web and in vitamin vending machines at airports and in health food stores and claims of their benefits range from increased energy to weight loss and reduced instance of illness. It is also an expensive product; products marketed as "healthy" cure-alls in general tend to be expensive, but fresh acai berry is among the most costly. Recently, a healthy vending machine selling fresh acai berry supplements in a California health club was boasting their "rock bottom" price of $45.

There is nothing new or wrong with healthy product fads or expensive supplements being sold in fitness center vending machines. However, victims of the recent fresh acai berry scam have emptied their pocketbooks in search of the renowned healthy effects of the berries, but to no avail. Finally customers began to look in to the products in order to get an explanation of why the claims were not being fulfilled. The reason: many products that are marketed as fresh healthy acai berry supplements actually have very little fresh acai berry in them. Fresh acai berry is expensive and only found in Brazil. Additionally, the berries are famously perishable, meaning that if they are not properly preserved very soon after picking they all but lose their potential healthy effects; even then they don't tend to last very long. It isn't the kind of product that can be successfully stocked for freshness issues in a vending machine. Scam supplement producers know this, but they get around labeling requirements by using acai berry byproducts and other techniques so that the products can be marketed as such even though the potential healthy effects that would be associated with fresh product are basically negligible.

Additionally, many bogus fresh acai berry products can be found online under the guise of "free samples." This scam requires a credit card to receive a free sample, supposedly to guarantee the delivery address or something similar. Consumers that sign up for these "free samples" often don't read the fine print where it is stated that by accepting the free sample they are agreeing to sign up for a monthly subscription service to receive more fresh healthy acai berry products. The product keeps coming and fresh charges appear on the victim's credit card that can very difficult to reverse. Often the number provided to cancel the subscription is disconnected or always busy. Consumers who fall for this scam may later wish that they opted for the vending machine products instead.

It is always recommended that consumers investigate claims made by supplements that are sold as healthy products because these claims are often not evaluated by the FDA. Additionally, any online agreement offering a free sample should be carefully scrutinized, especially any agreement that requires that you give your credit card information.

About RabbitClone

Rabbitclone is website cloning service that gets entrepreneurs' websites operating in half the time at a fraction of the cost. By duplicating the functionality of an already existing model, business owners can spend more of their time and money focusing on sales and marketing.

The RabbitClone.com logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8196

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