The idea for the investigation conducted by Wojtek Przeździecki, the author of the “ojwojtek” channel, began with advertisements in color printed magazines, which – to put it mildly – sound at least suspicious. The Youtuber and his partner decided to contact several companies offering products with incredible healing properties.
“Healing” products bought on Chinese portals
For each of the products, the scheme was identical. The phone number provided in the advertisement directed to a consultant who assured about unrealistic effects in a very short time. What’s more, the consultants used pre-written formulas, which is why each of them said almost exactly the same thing. Every now and then YouTubers were encouraged to buy “medicines” with subsequent promotions or employee discounts, which the “good-natured” employee of the hotline intended to give.
The authors of the channel finally ordered allegedly healing shoe inserts for several hundred zlotys and showed them to specialists. They also found identical inserts in a Chinese mail order store (and for less than PLN 2) and checked the alleged doctor, who in the leaflet assured about the extraordinary properties of the product. It quickly turned out that his photo came from an online photo bank. Next, the youtubers went to the building where the company was registered, but there they found only a virtual office. The real address where the consultants would work could not be found despite searches.
In the end, the youtubers used the help of a detective who determined that the scam company is registered in Florida. Moreover, it is a subsidiary of another company, which in turn is registered in Delaware (a US tax haven). The entire activity of the “enterprise” was based on ordering goods from the manufacturer through yet another company. The address or details of those responsible for the scam could not be determined.
They bought their own advertisement in newspapers
Influencers decided to go a step further and check why glossy magazines publish this type of advertisement in their pages. They contacted newspaper publishers, trying to order an advertisement for a product of their invention with supposed extraordinary properties. As it turned out, the veracity of the advertisements and the companies behind them was not even verified by the newspaper publishers.
Eventually, the authors of the channel created their own advertisement for a made-up “motivational whistle” that they intended to give away for free. The ad went to print without any comments, and influencers received calls from 22 people interested in the broken whistle. Youtubers regret that the activity of suspicious companies offering alleged services or medicinal products is not verified by government bodies, e.g. UOKiK. The more so that the victims of this type of fraud are most often the elderly or the sick.
Mabel is a talented author and journalist with a passion for all things technology. As an experienced writer for the 247 News Agency, she has established a reputation for her in-depth reporting and expert analysis on the latest developments in the tech industry.