By Craig Day, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The News On 6 wants you to be aware of getting ripped off on websites made to look like news websites, but really advertise products.
They might be using names like online6reports.com, news6health.com or news6reports to make it seem like their supplements and offers are legit.
Don't be fooled! A Tulsa woman was almost out a lot of money.
When Janise Speights found a trial offer for an acaiberry colon cleanser for $1.49, she thought she would try it, after all a reporter, Julia Miller, for online6reports, gave glowing reviews that made it seem credible.
"They're using News 6 right here locally, so I'm thinking it's OK. And it wasn't OK," said Janise Speights.
The thing is, Julia Miller doesn't work for The News On 6. Sometimes she goes by different names, sometimes it's a different person.
One hundred percent of the time, it's not a legit journalist.
"And I said since you're using Channel 6 news, I'm going to call them and tell them what you're doing that you're ripping people off and this is all fraud," said Janise Speights.
To make it worse, Speights' credit card was charged $101.
"Immediately called them and said 'no, no, no,'" Speights said. "You've got to cancel this, this is a rip-off, you cannot do people this way."
But they are doing it to people and legitimate news organizations nationwide.
Basically, these marketers can locate the area where you're using a computer through an IP address. Then they can localize their ad: like something Channel 6 related in Tulsa or a variation of Channel 9 in Oklahoma City.
TV stations don't have any association with the products, but consumers, like Speights, often don't know that.
"I was furious, and I wasn't very nice when I called them back," said Janise Speights.
Thankfully, Speights' credit card company was suspicious and didn't pay the $101. Now, she just doesn't want anyone else misled.
"I thought it was going to be OK and it was terrible," said Janise Speights.
Here's some information that could help you:
First and foremost, television journalists typically don't endorse things like colon cleansers.
If it says advertorial, that means pay attention, read everything, including the fine print.
And if there's any doubt, call the TV station. Or you can call the Oklahoma Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-3921.