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New scam: make your own snake oil at home!

15 May 2024

What is wrong with the world?

So many people, so much stupidity, so little intelligent skepticism.

Today I'm talking about a revolutionary medical breakthrough that will give you "increased energy, reduced inflammation, improved skin health, and more".

This miracle fluid will also "lower inflammation throughout your body so you can live a longer, heathier life" and "sharpen your focus and clarity, empowering your mind for the challenges ahead".

OMG... I'm so pumped for this and that's even before a single drop of that precious liquid has passed my lips.

What's this... you don't even have to buy the stuff, you can make at home in unlimited quantities?


Or maybe...

Yes, just maybe... these claims sound too good to be true, right?

So what am I talking about today?

Well it's another YouTube scam ad, of course.

This time the ad points to a webpage touting the miracle "Hydroh Bottle, a device that will, so it's claimed, change your life for the better.

Yes, thanks to the power of electrolysis, this expensive little bottle will infuse regular water with the miracle of *hydrogen* and it's this hydrogen that delivers all those fantastic benefits I've just mentioned -- allegedly.

Is this really true though?

Well This New York Times piece does a pretty good job of presenting the facts.

The bottom line seems to be that even if hydrogenated water does have any positive effect on health, it's so small as to be lost in the noise. Many trials have indicated the possibility of almost immeasurable improvements but other trials have produced contradictory evidence that shows no benefit or even a reduction in such metrics as physical strength and endurance.

Ah... fertile fields on which to grow a scam!

Use a bunch of techno-jargon, cherry pick only those studies that might possibly support your claims and skip the rest. Ignore the fact that in those studies where there was perhaps a slight benefit the H2 was infused under high pressure and instead tell the punters that simple electrolysis at regular atmospheric pressure is just as good -- then sell them a glass container with a battery for anywhere up to US$250.


Then... ad a bunch of testimonials that it is impossible to verify, such as this one from "Thomas G.":

"After drinking from the Hydroh Bottle for 3 months, it has truly made me feel like myself again"

Who was Thomas feeling like before he wasted his money on making his own snake-oil I wonder? It's also strange that Thomas now feels like himself because there's a video testimonial from an anonymous user further down the page who states:

"I don't even feel like the same person"

So does it make you feel like yourself or does it make you feel like some other person? Colour me confused on that point :-)

Ah... the power of the placebo effect.

And, as all good scams do, thrown in a special discount so as to encourage punters to buy now, so they don't miss out on the savings.

There was a time when committing a fraud was a crime -- now it's just another chance for Google to spin some money out of its YouTube service by charging scammers for the freedom to inflict their deceptions on a wider audience. No shame, no shame at all!

Carpe Diem folks!

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