SlimBetti – same Slender Max scam artists

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It is evident from you reading this posting, that you have seen an advert for this product. This suggests that these scamsters are still duping unsuspecting consumers from purchasing these products – in spite of previous ASA rulings.I will very much appreciate it if you could please let me know where you saw an advert for this product – by commenting at the end of this article (will remain anonymous if you so wish).This may help other consumers from being scammed!Sincerely,Dr Harris Steinman

 

A reader has brought to my attention of the release of a “new product”, SlimBetti.

In fact, the claims being made for SlimBetti Hoodia Gel, SlimBetti Thermo Advance and SlimBetti Fibreslim are very similar to those that were made for Slender Max products , and that the Advertising Standards instituted sanctions against. See the raft of ASA rulings against these products below.

In other words, the Grindlay’s first started making weight loss claims for Hoodia Slender Gel, and when the ASA ruled against the claims, continued but changed the name of the product to Slender Gel. Following a new ASA ruling, they changed the name to Slender Max and following further rulings, to Slimbetti – while continuing to make the same claims in spite of no evidence that they work.

Is there any evidence that the products don’t work? Firstly, it is not the requirement of consumers to prove a product does not work, but the seller to do so.

However: subsequent to the launch of the Grindllays products, Unilever, after spending 20 Million Euros on hoodia research, concluded that high doses taken orally had no effect on appetite suppression or weight-loss. The study was independently conducted and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study concluded: “In comparison with a matched placebo, the consumption of HgPE for 15 d appeared to be associated with significant adverse changes in some vital signs and laboratory parameters. HgPE was less well tolerated than was the placebo and did not show any significant effects on energy intakes or body weights relative to the placebo.”  This study was communicated to the Grindlays through ASA correspondence.

Alternately: there is not a single study that shows that Hoodia has any beneficial effect when taken orally. And there is zero evidence that Hoodia is absorbed through the skin – only a handful of substances can be absorbed through the skin: there is zero evidence that hoodia can be. And how do the Grindlays know what the correct dose would be?

This has not dissuaded the Grindlays from making the claims for their  Hoodia gel. Of note, there is low to zero Hoodia present in their gel – we tested the products. How is it that this is the only product in the world that claims that rubbing hoodia gel on your skin will result in weight-loss? If it worked, surely all other companies would jump on the bandwagon, including Big Pharmaceutical companies?

And now, in spite of a raft of ASA rulings, the Grindlays seek out magazines who are prepared to accept their adverts that claim that their product has “proven weight loss”. Their adverts also ask viewers to visit their website and to see their “clinical trials of their products and how they work”. Major lie, complete scam! No such trials have been peer-reviewed or published.

In a recent ASA ruling for a breach complaint laid with the ASA for their advert placed in Finesse magazine (and Glamour) (23rd September 2013), the ASA wrote to the Grindlay’s asking for a response, and as noted in the ruling: “. . . . the respondent advised that it had received the documentation, but had no desire to respond. It asked the Directorate not to disturb it again.”

Update 22 October 2013

What about Slimbetti Active Xtreme?
Today, 22nd October, Slimbetti posted to their website the opinion of Dr David Nye who they use to dupe consumers into believing that their product works. It states: 

“I, Dr David Michel Nye, have been commissioned by the manufacturers and marketers of the Slimbetti range of products, to evaluate the evidence in holds in support of the efficacy of the product Slimbetti Active Xtreme.”

Dr Nye claims:
“… I am of opinion that there is adequate research published in peer-reviewed journals, to support the claims made for the product, namely ‘fat-burning, improved metabolism, appetite suppressant, aid in effective weight management and fat loss when used in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet’. Although the combination of constituents has not been clinically tested, there is little likelihood of adverse effects, as the individual ingredients are well tolerated. The benefits appear to exceed the advertised claims, as improvement in metabolic factors such as cholesterol levels, insulin resistance and leptins, etc, would be expected to have major health benefits, over and above the eight loss. The dosages of the Irvingia gabonensis and Camelia sinensis in the product are adequate to produce the desired effects”.

What Chris and Jasmine Grindlay does not tell you is that this evidence was provide to the ASA and rejected as inadequate as far back as the 28th February 2013! Why post it now, and in direct conflict with the ASA ruling? No remorse – is this is what scam artists do?

But here is the “sad” part – Dr Nye has sold his soul for two reasons:
1. Dr Nye has previously argued that the only way one could test the claims for these kinds of products “is with a properly conducted, placebo controlled, double blind clinical study“.  Oops, big mistake.

2. Dr Nye, in spite of Slimbetti presenting his “impressive” CV, is no match for that of Prof Edzard Ernst and his colleagues (Onakpoya I, Davies L, Posadzki P) working at the department of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, who concluded in a peer-reviewed publication in March 2013, that “[D]ue to the paucity and poor reporting quality of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the effect of I. gabonensis (the main ingredient in this product) on body weight and related parameters are unproven. Therefore, I. gabonensis cannot be recommended as a weight loss aid. Future research in this area should be more rigorous and better reported.” In fact, a similar conclusion was reached by better qualified health professionals as far back as 2011 (if Dr Nye was half credible he would have been aware of this study) which stated and concluded “. . .  Irvingia gabonensis appeared to be effective in weight loss via fat modifying mechanisms . . . however, the data on the use of these products is limited. Many obese people use dietary supplements for weight loss. To date, there is little clinical evidence to support their use. More data is necessary to determine the efficacy and safety of these supplements”, and “[D]ue to the limited data, Irvingia gabonensis cannot be recommended at this time.” [Full article here]

Similar conclusions have been reached for Green tea!

These are scam products, there is no proof that these products work, and in fact sufficient evidence that they don’t.

Doing a quick “whois” search on the website for SlimBetti shows that it belongs to a company called Water Berry Trading and the admin contact is Jasmine Grindlay with an email address: [email protected].

Jasmine Grindlay and her husband Chris Grindlay appear to have been motorbike salesmen in the UK before moving to South Africa, and reinventing themselves as weight-loss experts. From the money made from these scams, they now reside at  11 Fisherman’s Bend Road, Llandudno.

 

Why do I identify these individuals using photos and their address? This unusual step is to explicitly identify and link individuals responsible for these scam products with the company selling the products. It is my honest opinion that individuals who live in our society and abuse the trust and societal values of that society should be identified, held responsible, and shamed.

Besides laying a new complaint against this company with the ASA, I have also laid a complaint of fraud against these two with the National Prosecuting Authority.

See new postiing: http://www.camcheck. co.za/diet-drug-dodges-asa-again/

Update 08 April 2012:

Jasmine Grindlay now identifies herself as a Seta Certified Life Coach & Mentor, Hypnotherapy Trainer, NLP Practitioner, Human Behaviourist Facilitator (Tel: 072 444 8762 – Cell: 021 790 4198) at LinkUpWesternCape. She has also formed ThePipGroup company.

Update  04 June 2012

Jasmine Grindlay has been accepted as a member of  Comensa (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa).  I wrote to the organisation expressing my concerns that by accepting her membership, that they inadvertently give credibility to her name (“I would therefore assume that your organisation expects the highest levels of integrity of your members. Your members should be trustworthy and above reproach.”)  The COMENSA National Ethics portfolio committee thought hard and long and then responded. 

By implimenting a whois search, I can confirm that the same owners are involved in this range of products. At http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search / slimbetti.com the following information can be gleaned: 

Admin Contact

Jasmine Grindlay
Water Berry Trading trading as Slimbetti
[email protected]
PO Box 700
Cape Town, 8060, ZA
phone: +27.217904198

The Grindlays have marketed their products under the following brand names: Hoodia, SlenderMax and Slimbetti.

Here are articles and ASA rulings against the Grindlays.

 CamCheck posts related to Slimbetti / Slender Gel / SlenderMax

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104 Responses to SlimBetti – same Slender Max scam artists

  1. James 4 July, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Interesting and some quite confronting statements indeed guess another objective would be to let consumers know where they can get their money back on products.

  2. nigel usher 11 July, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Lots of mentions of a Dr Steinman as  complainant when I dig around, I am doing a commercial review on a lot of these types of products and am interested to know about the products and the complaints but also about the complainant and the motive behind the complaint. Is Dr Steinman a paid advisor and if so who by? Are his motives putely altruistic and if so does he pursue all manufacturers/distributors with the same gusto. Can you enlighten me please

  3. Harris 11 July, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Dr Steinman is not a paid advisor and is not sponsored. Nor does he support any particular therapeutic paradigm – he supports proof efficacy. He regards himself as a consumer activist – his motives are purely altruistic. It should be clear from the posts on this blog that a wide range of manufacturers/distributors are targeted. 

  4. Nigel Usher 11 July, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Thanks for the response. As we have photographs and a bit of history about the 'scammers' how about a photograph and a bit of history about Dr Steinman? How does he/did he earn a living? What does he have a doctorate in? I'm not disputing that lots of people are targetted, I'm not even saying he is wrong, I am just saying that, having read a huge amount on this subject, it would appear that not everyone is targetted. I like consumer rights activists but I dislike witch-hunts. I still find the motives questionable and see no proof to substantiate the claim that all manufacturers of such products are treated equally. I note your comments regarding 'altruism'. It reminds me of George Melly commenting to Mick Jagger 'Mick you're getting a lot of wrinkles. Jagger replied 'Those are laughter lines George'. Melly's retort .. 'Come off it Mick nothing is that funny' To paraphrase; 'Come off it Mr Harris, nobody is that altruistic'

  5. Harris 11 July, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Dr Steinman is very visible in the field in which he earns his living: he is well known in the academic community. As a consumer activist he is private, having declined to be involved in any media articles focused on him. And because he is very aware that he is not doing this alone: he is gratefully freely supported by a number of academic scientists who assist him by checking his arguments and facts.   Mainly, he believes the message is more important than the messenger.   

    Limited free time of course means he is not able to focus on ALL companies; therefore he focuses predominantly on those products that are the most "visible", i.e., market their scams more prominently and aggressively. In particular, he tends to focus on those scams that tap into consumers psychological susceptibility – and in particular where the claims are absolutely nonsense. 

    A quick calculation shows that roughly 100 products from approximately 70 companies have been assessed over the last 8 or so years. Not all the ASA rulings or deconstructions appear here  for this blog is a recent event. 

    His financial remuneration comes from bona-fide non-activism related work: this activism is purely altruistic.

  6. Nigel Usher 12 July, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    Once again thanks for the detailed reply. Having looked further I note that Dr Steinman’s full name is Harris Steinman. I also note that you sign simply as ‘Harris’
    Can this be coincidence or are you Dr Steinman?

  7. Harris 12 July, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Spot on!

  8. Serenity 26 August, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

       
     
    Wow.. It's actually quite amazing how people think they know what is best for others!! Or that they can help other people by making someone else's life a misery!! You're not “shaming” anyone here ‘Harris’.. you're actually slandering their name. So you don’t like their product, that’s your choice. Some people DO.. and that’s theirs. It's however not up to you to judge people; you have no right to do that. And it seems that your "assumptions" are only based on literature!! I very much doubt you have EVERY tried this product, seen what it does, how it works or what the results are!! Have you?? I very much doubt it. It seems you are on a vendetta against any slimming product out there or anything that doesn't suit your interest. You are in fact the director of F.A.C.T.S – Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services.Yes you're a medical   doctor and a researcher on allergy, intolerance, additives, preservatives and general food safety and you’re the Allergy Society of South Africa’s Representative so why are diet products such an issue to you? If they work for some people that’s great; if they don’t, that’s the person’s issue to deal with, but you slandering people like this and taking on companies like this in your so called free time just seems like a nasty vendetta. For a few miss worded statements you're on a mission to get them. They've fixed this and yet you carry on!! Let it go already. Just be happy.

  9. Harris 26 August, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    @Serenity.

    Thanks for your comment. My assumptions are not based on the literature but on facts, which are documented in the literature.

    So if someone was selling a product that claims to cure cancer, or AIDS, would you be accept that? If you have a child who has a severe illness and some clever advertiser tries to sell you a product with "scientific evidence" that it will cure him/her, would you be unhappy if someone with knowledge of science helps you to understand that the claims are impossible and a scam?

    Or should everyone, including yourself, lookout and fight for themselves? I include those that get scammed with financial pyramid schemes, medicines, equipment that is unsafe, and even orthodox pharmaceutical products. 

    I hope that in fields where I do not have expertise, that someone will guide me and warn me that I am may be making a bad judgement. I cannot know everything.  

    And the same applies here. The product does NOT contain levels of hoodia that can be of benefit. There is no proof that hoodia is absorbed through the skin. Should I not warn anyone and let consumers throw their money away because of clever advertising and false claims? If you like, I can give you the address of a lab that will test the product for you so that you can make up your own mind. Or are you benefiting from selling scams like this?

    I try to look out for others as I hope that others are looking out for me.   I hope that you never get scammed and wished that someone could have warned you!  

  10. Lana 6 February, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Thank you a million times, dr Steinman. I was about to spend hundreds of Rands to lose that 28kg and two dress sizes that was promised to me in the ads. Now I realise that it is impossible to sleep, work and play and still lose weight. Proper diet and exercise seems the only way!
    Thank you again and bless you for watching out for us.
    Lana 

  11. Harris 6 February, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you for the compliments! Wish there was an easy way, but it is not by losing money out of your purse!

  12. marie 8 April, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    If slimbetti is so good why is the owner of the company so fat

  13. Brenda van der Merwe 22 April, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Hi Dr Harris,
    I have bought the afrikaans sunday paper the Rapport and found this ad for Slimbetti, luckly I went into the site and saw that this slimming pills are a scan. It is been advertised as Themo Advance and Hooda Gel.
    Thank you for the insight you have saved me some money as I was quiet impressed with the amount of weight  people have lost.
     
    We need more activasts like you.
     
    Take care
     
    Brenda v/d Merwe
     
    I

  14. A Mac Donald 30 April, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Fat people will believe anything, as long as they could lose weight without any effort. Slimbetti is just another scam to lure those people in lala land. The thing is, stop stuff yourself and start exercising, AND KEEP IT UP. How do you think this people with their amazing weight-loss will look next year the same time?

  15. Elizabeth 1 May, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Found advert in the latest (May 2012) Joy Magazine

  16. Henna 9 May, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Why cant they just keep the diet pills of the market that does not work What about the new one that is advertised lately Organaslim any comment on that

  17. Harris 9 May, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks for your input. Yes, Organaslim is also a scam. You can read more around that here: http://www.camcheck.co.za/asa-ruling-organo-slim-betrim/

  18. Rina 11 May, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Baie dankie vir die inligting ek het die advertensie van Slimbetti vanoggend in die Mei uitgawe van die Finesse tydskrif gesien en wou eers daaroor gaan oplees op die web toe ek die waarskuwing sien.
    Van nou af aan sal ek altyd eers n produk navors voordat ek dit aankoop!

  19. Stephanie 14 May, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Stephanie posted a comment which led to a discussion between her and me. For ease of reading, these to and fro comments are compiled into a single posting, for they are interesting.

  20. Rhoda Umar 17 May, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    I saw this as for Slimbetti in the lastest Joy Magazine and assumed that this Mag because of is content maybe approved of this product. I did check my local Clicks and they dont stock this product. I dodged a bullet because the local rep couldn’t tell me if this product will hurt my ulcer so I actually came online to get the details for another rep or pharmacy to deliver Slimbetti to my home. Thank you so much Doctor for bringing this to our attention. God Bless you and please continue to make us aware of these scams

  21. Leizel 18 May, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Hi, I have just scaned through this, so what you are saying is that slimbettie does not work,then what do they give the poeple to drink? I am desperate to find a program to loose weight, fast, effective & for good, I am tired of the ups & downs. I got the add in the daily sun, googled for the info spoke to a lady Pearl, they are based in cape town & they post the products to you after you paid for it R749.85 into a standard bank acc, they are running under ‘Planet moto t/a Slimbetti’. She even had the ordasity to tel me I sound like the poeple who can’t stick to healthy eating, but that is all I do & still nothing a bit up a bit down, I hate poeple like this, If they only know what we go through. For A. Mcdonald who says fat poeple will believe anything as long as the can lose weight without effort, how about you do some ckecks yourself to see not all fat poeple stuff themselves with no excersise, for some people it is just harder to lose than others.

  22. Joyce 24 May, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Dear Dr, I read an ad about Slimbetti in this week, 25 May 2012, people magazine. Please recommend to me a good healthy slimming product.

  23. Harris 24 May, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. According to Caxton publishers, they cannot stop the advert till June for these issues are already in print. As far as a healthy slimming product is concerned, I regret to tell you that there are not any. All of those on the market are either scams or they are not really good. The problem is this: none change your attitude towards your food, how you eat, your eating scrips, etc., which results in yo-yo dieting, lose weight, gain weight, and so on. The best advice I can give you is to talk to a competent dietician, and work out a plan that is specific for you and although slow, has long term benefits. Cuts out yo yo dieting!

  24. Annemarie 27 May, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    dankie vir die waarskuwing- wou ook graag so vinnig gewig verloor.

  25. Poppi 4 December, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Hello Harris,

    Appreciate all the info… Everyone is lucky to get warned by a medical practitioner who is more aware of health risks than all of us mere mortals. I see that Slimbetti products are stocked across most / all pharmacies (excl Clicks and Dischem of course) … What do you make of that?

  26. Harris 4 December, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    @Poppi
    Thanks for your comment. The ASA can only stop companies from advertising in the media but cannot stop companies from stocking scams. I laid a complaint of fraud against Chris and Jasmine Grindlay of Slimbetti with the police over two years ago.

  27. Maggie 3 January, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Wooow! I’ve always known that somethings are too good to be true and thank my inquisitiveness on bringing me to this side as i was about to go throw my dime in the water. Saw an ad on People magazine regarding slimbetti and was so interested but had to enquire more. I’m glad i came to this site and honestly, will go back to my normal routine on gym and eating healthy as that helps though it takes time. Thanks Dr Harris.

  28. Poppi 4 January, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Harris,
    I tried the product and nothing happened. I kept my daily calories at 1600 – 1800, which was mostly made up of fruit, veg and some nuts, with daily cooked meals limited at 1 meal per day. Eg. I’d have fruit most of the day and 1 cooked meal in the evening while on Slimbetti.

    I’ve thrown the box with pills away and have decided to change my lifestyle instead – I guess we all assume that we will lose weight when a product is very expensive, but it just means you have much more money to lose.

    Thanks again Harris… and keep the light going!

  29. Jeanine 20 March, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I’ve used the ThermoBurn pills from Slimbetti – supposedly to suppress apetite. Did not work at all. I’m gong to throw away the rest of the pills. Rather going to change eating habits and exercise more.

  30. Mel 26 March, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I have just purchased a box of the Fibre Trim and it doesnt suppress the appetite at all. All these people that have put their “testimonies” on Facebook etc….where do they come from? Have they really used the product or are they all just part of this scam?

  31. Dom 5 April, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I see this product is still being marketed. There is an advert in the latest People magazine.
    I find it disturbing that Neal’s health shop in fourways is selling it

  32. Annecke 1 July, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Reading all the post and scams got me thinking how many products is out there that are scams? Also saw Slimbetti and thought this could work, but after reading the scams it made me wonder of others. Got another weightloss product , called Be Trim and you order from weightloss24 – is this a scam or does this product really work?

  33. Harris 2 July, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    @Annecke
    As you suspect, another big scam: http://www.camcheck.co.za/topslim-weightloss24-co-za-new-scams-from-johan-brittz/

  34. Annecke 2 July, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Thx Harris, you just saved me from wasting a lot of money 🙂

  35. Debbie 8 August, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I saw a phamplet in the Goedemoed pharmacy – they didnt have stock so went onto there website. Been called numerous times but missed me by Gayle and just chatted to her! She asked me how much I want to lose and to rate my stress level – she said its been proven that ‘ if you are very stressed – you hold the weight’ and there products help break this down etc! Also said must be debit order over 3 months and then ongoing – I dont like debit orders so went back onto internet and found your site! Thanks Dr for this – I would have just wasted money! We all want a quick fix but it doesnt happen!

  36. Lisa Richardson 2 September, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    I have just seen a post on facebook… from one of my friends. she must have followed the link given. They seem to have opened a facebook page, and are inviting people to “like” the page, and then buy… They seem to want to tie you in to a regular debit order, as you have to actually cancel before they will stop debiting your credit card. there is NO option to buy on a once off basis.

  37. Veronica 17 September, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Hi

    Am shocked i have recently bought Slimetti products advertised on the following website http://www.slimbetti.com after i saw the advert on Glamour magazine. is this scam , i have strted using the hoodia gel n ow for a week and i havent notices the difference as promised. the contact numbers of the Cape town offices are 021 430 6167. can you please help me as they are going to debit my account with an amount of R548 for the product.

  38. Fatima 18 September, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Hi DR. I too have read their ad on Facebook and alarmingly they already have a following of over 9ooo. A lady posted a comment about how they will not stop debiting her CC, and evry time she calls, no one helps her. I have put your link on their page, but am sure it will disappear soon.

  39. Harris 18 September, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    @Veronica
    The only way you can stop this is by contacting your credit card division, and approaching the National Consumer Commission http://www.consumerfair.co.za/show.php?id=105

  40. maloesca 25 September, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    HI Harris
    ,ive rcecently bought the slimbetti product .Ive only used it for a week and no results and my payment are due end of sept 2013 of R584,. what can i do to stop the payment before the debit order goes through end of the month.

  41. Tania 2 October, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Saw this ad on facebook and have come to do my homework. Thanks for all the advice and thank you that there is a website to tell us unsuspecting public. I wish there was a quick fix. What about Dr Oz fruit that eats up belly fat? Nutra-Burn 10 and PureLife Colon Cleanse???

  42. Harris 2 October, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    @Tania
    Thanks for your compliments! I have not seen Dr Oz’s show so cannot give an exact comment except to say that Dr Oz has made a number of unsubstantiated and outrageous claims so I would be cautious of anything he suggests. There are no physiological reasons why one would require a colon cleanse unless you are going for colonoscopy and one or two other uncommon reasons. If constipated, then a laxative will be required and not a colon cleanse. At WebMD is a fairly balanced article on colon cleansing: http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/natural-colon-cleansing-is-it-necessary

  43. Heather 7 October, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/slimbetti1

  44. zarina 7 October, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I just saw their FB page & it really didn’t sound like a scam until I googled it just to make sure. These people have no idea that they are messing with people’s live’s here who are really battling to lose weight-& all for a quick buck-Shame on them!

  45. Tracy London 9 October, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    They are on Facebook trying to con everyone. I left a comment there telling eveyone they are scam artists before I read this.

  46. G 14 October, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    This is being advertised all over Facebook, they have obviously sponsored links because I haven’t chosen to follow them yet their ad pops up on my timeline daily.
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=603586046350076&id=204723342903017&set=a.384573734917976.83613.204723342903017&refid=28&_ft_=qid.5934460723946486720%3Amf_story_key.603586046350076

  47. YB 18 October, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Thanks for the info Harris!
    Also, in my opinion I think the scammers deserve to be slandered as they are unethical so thank you for helping us consumers in this increasingly fake world 🙂

  48. mandy 31 October, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Full page advertised in essentials magazine for nov 2013 magazine. Pg 123

  49. Anadia 13 November, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Hi,
    I read about it on Facebook and spoke to a lady called Lucille. She sounded really awesome though, which is sad. So bummed. Was looking forward to trying it.

  50. Ielhaam 14 November, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi all, I bought the slimtbetti xtreme plus gel paid over R500 bucks for it, gave it to my sister cos I was scared what if I fall pregnant. She googled them then came across this page. I posted the link on there facebook wall and it was deleted and I’m now banned from writing on there wall. I also put it on sumones wall post and it got removed…. I smell a rat!

  51. Jana 20 November, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Hallo I just want to know if the PGC3 work or is this also a scam?? Just bought it

  52. Natalie 21 November, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    OMW!!! Thank you for all this advice. I saw the ad on Facebook and was ready to run to the store to get my dose of Slimbetti. It seemed too good to be true. We should really protest to get them off Facebook!!!

  53. Harris 21 November, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    @Natalie
    Thanks for your comment. Is is possible to have a company like this removed from Facebook? It would be worth it. We have now also been informed that all their “likes” are not true “likes” but generated using sophisticated software.

  54. Kerry 5 December, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    This product has been advertised in the latest copy of the You magazine

  55. Maria 8 December, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi Dr Harris I recently got the Garcia Cambodia tablet can you tell
    me if that is also a scam?

  56. Harris 8 December, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    @Maria
    Yes it is. Read here about why we say so: http://www.camcheck.co.za/pgc3/

  57. Melissa 14 December, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    I used to be one of those people who would constantly run to diet pills with the hopes that it would work effortlessly when I was younger. I would always lose some weight (which I knew was never really the pills) but I would always ALWAYS gain the weight back. One day I decided that eating healthier is a much better route and I’ve lost weight and it stays off. Even better is that I lost weight faster this way, my skin looks better, my mood was better, etc. I do wish more people would realize this and avoid the “off the shelf solutions”

  58. Harris 14 December, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    @Melissa
    Beautifully and perfectly said!

  59. Tarryn 9 January, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Hi. I just saw an advert for Slimbetti on facebook and sms’d my contact number to 44812.I just read now that this is a scam and will not be trying their product when they contact me. Thank you for the article published about this been a scam.

  60. Rudy 17 January, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    I just saw their ad on facebook, claiming that they so confident that there products will work that the will let you use it and pay afterwards. I called the toll free number and was told that the 3 products (Active Xtreme, Belly Fat Pill & Hoodia Gel) would cost me over R9000.00 but they willing to give me a 10% discount. the guy said because i didnt sound to happy with the price he would give me an additional 5% discount and that my monthly payment would only be R1059 for 6 months, “thats really cheap hey” he said and postage would be free. ja right. I think not. This is definitely a scam.

    Dr Steinman, what about the Lepton Green Coffee range and other products on this website http://green-coffee.co.za/

  61. Harris 20 January, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    @Rudy
    I have not evaluated Green Coffee 800 yet, but it does contain a number of ingredients that have never been shown to beyond doubt, result in weight-loss, e.g., Epigallocatechin gallate EGCG -which is actually in green tea. (Read more about EGCG at http://www.camcheck.co.za/herbex-claims-dont-add-up/)

    Hence I suspect that this product is another product without any chance of working. Anyone have a list of all the ingredients and dosages please?

  62. Rudy 20 January, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    HI Harris,

    Below is the details of the Green Coffee.
    “Green Coffee 800 with Detox effect Formula is a “drug-free” dietary supplement developed from a blend of herbal extracts. When used with a healthy diet plan, Green Coffee 800 helps your body to burn fat and calories. The herbal extracts and minerals used in this product were gathered around the world to make this diet supplement natural. Green coffee 800 contains anti-oxidant qualities necessary to cause thermo genesis that increases metabolism of fat. Chromium and Vanadium increase the burning of carbohydrates and metabolic rate. Panax Ginseng helps maintain energy levels while dieting. Another ingredient, Heartleaf, starts the process of burning fat while maintaining your appetite.

    INGREDIENTS:
    • 70mg Calcium
    • 250mcg Chromium (as Chromium Dinicotinate Glycinate)
    • 700mg Propietary Herbal Bend: Green tea leaf standardized extract (180 mg antioxidant polyphenols, 90mg epigallocatechin gallate [EGCG], 50mg naturally occurring caffeine), Asian(Panax) ginseng root standardized.
    • 2g Dietary Fiber

    * The content of Chromium Picolinate is set according to different countries’s standards. It is nothing to do with the slimming effect. The slimming effect and the taste are the same as always.

    DIRECTIONS: Take one pack in the morning.
    CONTENTS: 18 packs of Green coffee 800+ x 10g in a sealed box (18-day supply)”

    • Harris 21 January, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      @Rudy
      Thanks for bringing this product to my attention. I have evaluated the ingredients and there is no proof that the product will work. Worse, it contains heartleaf, a source of ephedrine – a banned substance which is a very risky ingredient. I have posted my arguments here: http://www.camcheck.co.za/leptin-green-coffee-800/

  63. Charlene 9 February, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Just want to know whether this product PGC3(Pure Garcinia Cambogia) also one of this scam products is I see the advertise it in You, Rapport …..

    • Harris 10 February, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      @Charlene
      Yes, this is the product brought out by the scam artists Chris and Jasmine Grindlay. However, to date, no product containing Garcinia cambogia has been shown to be a credible weight-loss product.

  64. Lee 10 February, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Dr Harris
    Ive read through all the above posts and all that comes to mind is that, with every given product….you “claim” its a scam….read your arguments and i will give you the benefit of the doubt that you raise well intended arguments but all in all, no one has asked, so i shall, which product is not a scam and if there is, which product(s) would you recommend if any…
    And since you know so much off these products, when a certain percentage sheds off the pounds using these products, wouldnt you say at a certain degree the products you are banning actually work???
    Please do enlighten me on this for we all do not react the same to certain products and yet you bash them…

    • Harris 11 February, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      @Lee
      You raise an important question. Sadly there are no good or even great products. Even Big Pharma, who have spent millions on trying to find an effective product, have only come up with a handful that only result in minor weight-loss of around 5% over a year. Some products that were more effective had so many side effects that they were regulated as Schedule 6 drugs. They are now removed from the market altogether.

      The reason I am not in favour of ANY of these products is simply that one cannot remain on them for the rest of your life, which means that even if they were effective, you would lose weight and then regain it when you stop using the product because you are not changing your eating behaviour (or eating scripts), and so the famous yo-yo dieting effect kicks in – and this is really bad news! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yo-yo_effect) Unfortunately what people do not want to hear is that the only way to lose weight is to change how you eat every day, break the scripts e.g., ‘must finish your plate of food even though you are full half way through’, etc. I do appreciate that people want a quick fix, but it will cost them very dearly in the long term. Research has proved that! The few people who have achieved rapid weight loss and maintained this are exceptions – not the rule.

      Another aspect to consider is that weight-loss studies demonstrate that there is a very large and strong placebo response, which means that some people may lose weight and attribute it to the product being used, when in fact it has more to do with other factors, e.g., taking the pill may keep the user focused on eating less – something that is working for that individual but not others.

  65. vanessa 11 February, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi I have bought 3 months supply of pgc3 but after 2 weeks of detox and 2 weeks of the product no change. I still have 2 more payments of R536.00 to pay can I request my bank to stop payment as I after reading this page I know that it is a scam.

    • Harris 11 February, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      @Vanessa
      I asked someone who knows more than I do, and she wrote: “In terms of the CPA, she’s entitled to her money back. No way that lot will refund her, but in theory, she’s entitled to a refund as the product did not perform as claimed, and is not fit for purpose.” It may also be worth asking your bank to stop payments, you do have a strong case for it.

  66. Ilse 24 February, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Saw advert for pgc3 in Huisgenoot February 2014 and DSTV magazine February 2014. Luckily I first googled and voilla !! scam. Just saved met R599.99 for a months worth. THANK YOU

  67. TRYNESS 24 March, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Then what should we use when we want to loss weighy im totaly confused was about to go nbuy some slimmbetti pills because their adverts in people magazine look promising were there are people who claim they lost 6 to 20 kilograms while using this product

    • Harris 24 March, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      @Tryness
      This product is a scam.

  68. Nosi 1 April, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Dr Dr. I saw this advert and ordered the product, then they sent me an invoice of R4500, and told me that I will pay R1500 for 6 months, How possible is that, R4500 has changed to R9000, I Asked them if I cud pay the R4500 at once but they kept on telling me stories, I asked them if u cud return the product back to them and they said no.

  69. Bongi 13 June, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I just saw this product on the internet on 2014.06.10, I signed up on their page and they phoned me and i ordered i told my sister about and she checked it out and she referred me to this page. I immediately phoned them to tell them I am cancelling as I have not received the order yet but they said once you place the order you cant cancel and if I don’t pay I will be blacklisted. I then informed how can they say everything is processed since i haven’t paid the R135 they requested upfront, the gentleman said he didn’t know i haven’t paid the R135 and he said i must hold the line and referred me to someone else but the lime was disconnected. I phoned again and got the same gentleman and he promised to get back to me in a moment but he hasn’t returned the call. ever-since i signed up 4 days ago they have been phoning me nonstop encouraging me about the product but now that I am cancelling they cant return my call. i have never heard of an order you cant cancel or return whereas you haven’t even received it. I’m glad my sister checked it out because even if its not a scam or its working but the manner they have handled my concern and the cancellation raises alot of questions. I’m now on my way to my bank to inform them that I have cancelled this debit.

  70. Bongi 14 June, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Its bongi again I woke up this morning and found that this company deducted the R135 after I specifically told them to cancel the order and what came as a shock is that they moved the deduction date as they were supposed to deduct next after I phoned the money was deducted immediately from my account. This is clear that this is indeed a scam; please people before you sign up for this do your research I’ve learnt that the hard way.

  71. Isabel 19 June, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Hi dr, what about ‘A Touch of Elegance’ R400 for a month supply. That also promise you the world of weighloss !!! Than there is the HCG Diet ?? Is it save ?

    • Harris 19 June, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

      @Isabel
      I have no experience with “A Touch of Elegance”. On their website they state that the ingredients are: Sweet potato fiber, cyamoposis gum, amor phallus konjac (extract from giantarium and Jerusalem artichoke), tea leptin hawthorn fruit P.E. None of these have individually been shown to have a major impact on weight-loss and I cannot find any study that has evaluated them together. I would ask the company for the evidence that it works, but they may give you testimonials instead – and that is not good enough for testimonials never include those for whom a product did not work. Regarding HCG diet, the FDA and others have argued that it does not work. http://www.camcheck.co.za/hcg-diet/

  72. Sihle 11 July, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    I subscibed to the fibreslim tablets and all i get is chest pains, no weightloss for the past 3months can i ask my bank to stop payments, coz am still left with 4months payments of R266, please help

    NB you can respond directly to the email address i gave.

  73. Chrisna 5 August, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Well, I have being using SlimBetti for about 3 months now and honestly, I can see a world of difference.

    I used numerous so called weigh loss supliments and none of them EVER worked for me – Slim Betti has being the only one that actually made a difference in my life.

    For some reason I am not able to find the product now anymore – was very strange.
    Supposed it is because of ppl like you

    Well, thanx for nothing

  74. Linda 4 September, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Slimbetti now have a Facebook page with over 20 000 likes (????) they are aggressively marketing on Facebook – I see their posts every day.

    https://www.facebook.com/slimbetti1

    • Harris 4 September, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      @Linda
      Unfortunately the authorities have not yet taken action against Jasmine and Chris Grindlay.
      One gets software that can generate “likes” so this means actually nothing for how do we know they are genuine? Even the product is a scam.

  75. Cheryl 4 September, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    I have seen this for the first time today on FaceBook

  76. Charmaine van der der Merwe 10 September, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Found this all very interesting, saw the ad on FB and responded. Received a call this morning from a lovely lady called Joanie and she almost had me sold. While on the call with her I googled the product at the same time and came across Camcheck. Just as I was about to give her the go ahead to debit my bank account I asked her about the what I was reading on Camcheck about Chris and Jasmine Grindlay. She paused for a bit as she was obviously not expecting and then said something about “the proof is in the pudding”, and that some people out there not responding positively. In hindsight, best diet is to follow a balanced eating plan, drink lots of water and moderate exercise. Cost of the ACTIVE EXTREME that I almost purchased is R574.12 pm for 6 months and immediate debit of R135 to cover courier costs. I told the call centre lady that I would rather investigate further before committing. She gave me her cell phone number to call her if I change my mind. Unfortunately we all want a quick fix and reality is there is not really a quick fix. It takes ages to pile on the kg’s so we cannot expect to drop them overnight. Thanks for posting.

    • Harris 15 September, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      @Charmaine
      Thanks for posting this warning! I would not be suprised if Joanie earns a commission for every sale she makes!

  77. Helene 17 September, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    I saw the ad on Facebook this morning. They are advertising lose weight now and pay later! I will definitely not trust them. Thank you for pointing out this scam – can we not report their Facebook page?

    • Harris 17 September, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      @Helene
      Unfortunately cannot take action against Facebook site. However, still trying other ways to have action taken against the Grindlays.

  78. Taryn 19 September, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    I saw the ad on facebook last night and was really interested. I know following a balanced diet is the best option and I have lost 20kgs already but it is so difficult to lose a further 10-15kgs. Thank goodness I have just done my research and found this article! They still have an operational website and sell their product out of pharmacies all over the country.

  79. Bengz 30 September, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Dr Harris

    I also saw an advert on facebook, then visited their website and signup for a free trial, the next thing i was phoned to join for a six months trial which i pay R610/pm, i have tried it for two days now and read this article and want to change my mind not to continue since its a scam. i really regret taking their product and really wish to cancel, i need to know if that will be possible because they say you only cancel 3weeks prior to end of your contract?

    • Harris 2 October, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      @Bengz
      Thank you for submitting this comment. We are still dealing with the National Prosecuting Authority on this issue. In the meanwhile, contact your bank’s credit card division and ask them to cancel the order. Do you not also want to lay a complaint with the National Consumer Commission?

  80. Esther 11 December, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    Hi Dr. I picked up a leaflet today from a pharmacy in Booysens – South of Jhb. I asked the Pharmacist about it, but they said it is not their product. They left a stack of flyers, obviously seeking new customers… Thank you for caring enough to do something about these scam artists.

  81. Clayton 15 December, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    They are all over facebook and has a website as well. They give very little info and want customers to reply via sms or provide email addresses. They are even looking to employ telemarketers in Cape Town area. They charching R499 for one month supply (90 capsules but they don’t mention that its only 400 gram per capsule. Its a rip off.

  82. Ronel 27 January, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    Hi
    I saw the add for pgc3 in Huisgenoot beginning of November 2014, they phoned me and I signed up, been using the pills and nothing happens, still hungry. I received my 3 months supply and they deducted my 1st month at the end of December 2014 for R494, I still have 2 more payments. I send a sms to cancel my next order for another 3 months but nothing. They are about to deduct at the end of January again, you all say its a scam, am I still liable to pay the 2 months that are left even if I have the product? What can they do if I do not pay those months? I already decided that if they send me more product that I am not going to leave money in the account for the next 3 payments after February 2015

  83. Dominique 9 April, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi

    I just saw a link in Facebook and thought I would do some more research which is when I found this article. My question is how come there are testimonials on the website claiming it works, with before ad after pics?

    Thanks

    • Harris 9 April, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      @Dominique
      There may be a number of explanations for this (without being able to contact the individuals I can only guess).
      1. There is software that allows one to generate fake ‘likes’.
      2. Testimonials are easy for a company to create themselves.
      3. If 100,000 people purchase a product, and it only works for 1%, that adds up to 1,000 people, and if 500 give testimonials, that would seem like a lot but in fact, 99% have had no benefit. I know of a number of consumers who posted bad reviews, and none were accepted and displayed.

      So without knowing, we can look at the evidence for the ingredients and the product, and use our thinking caps, and make a fairly rational and informed decision. whether a product can work or not. So for example, there are positive testimonials for the gel which contains hoodia. One big problem, we have measured the contents and the hoodia is insignificant in levels.

  84. mysie 11 April, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    I saw this product on FB. A lady called me and explained everything to me. They have sent me the products, deducted what they agreed. I have lost 5kg in the last month and I am very happy with this. They included a great booklet with diet tips, weight loss chart and has been there to answer any question I had. I am very happy with the product.

  85. Shawnette 5 May, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi there

    3 months ago I ordered slimbetti – I was told that I could cancel after three months, I did so but was sent another 3 months supply today- I called their offices and was told that I accepted a 6 month contract, which I did not- I was also told that I could only listen to my recording at their Cape Town offices- I have called a lawyer which will make contact with them soon – I hope no one else falls for these crazies

  86. Letitia 8 May, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    I also ordered this product 3 months ago and they said I can cxd. Now I phoned them and they say I excepted a 6 month plan. That they will phone me with the recording. I received more slimbetti products and they said i cant send it back? If this is a scam how come the have a legit website? And yes the product does not work. And all their products come from “Planet Moto” I read all the comments and it is a fact that this site/supplier have a problem with what is agreed in the beginning and when you want to cancel.

  87. Sarie 25 August, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    I received a mail from mom who saw one of her friends claiming that the pills really work. I went to the website http://slimbetti.com and wanted to know, is there anyone that has ever posted anything about using the product and it not working?

    • Harris 25 August, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      @Sarie
      I have a number of people who informed me that they posted negative comments, and these were either deleted or not approved. Furthermore, there is software available that allows one to ‘create’ comments or ‘likes’ so the truth is often obscured. Here is an example of software that allows one to do this.

    • Letitia 25 August, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

      Hi Sarie, be very careful with these people. I used it and nothing happened. Then I wanted to cancel and they kept on delivering the product and deducting the money from my account.

  88. Kayla 27 August, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    I saw this advert in my face book page!

  89. Vino 22 February, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    Joo! I didnt know, I was supposed to start in January but I felt sick then I postpone. I lost the booklet that guide me then decide to check on this product. I have receive three month supplier and they have deductec R649 for first month, secocond month they didnt deduct, I was asking myself why but as it was January I was happy because I needed that money. I have not use the product is still silled. I’M going to block the to my bank.

    Thank you so much

  90. Annalize 18 March, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Hi. I have heard about Shape Platinum and S4 slimming pills. Do you know these products and do they work?
    Thanks

    • Harris 18 March, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

      @Annalize
      Read here about our views on 4S Slimming pills. Avoid, likely a scam.

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