Tilting At The 1-Tip Windmill

For quite a while now I've been on a personal crusade to quietly ensure that you aren't accosted by those ugly "1-tip" ads that offer you free trials for products that are supposed to burn fat. Why? Because I find the ads ugly and deceptive, and I think you folks are better than that.

The ads are more than just ugly and deceptive. They're part of a large credit card number farming scheme (link goes to the Washington Post) that plays on our insecurities regarding our physical condition. If you sign up for the "free trial" you start getting charged within two weeks. When you try to call to cancel your orders you end up in 1-800 limbo, often getting disconnected. Will you get product? Probably. But not before you've been soaked for $80 or more, unless you're very fortunate. 

My old quest was to gather the landing URLs for every one of these ads I saw, and to plug them into my ad networks' block-lists. I checked my block-list after reading the article linked above, however, and most of the URLs I've gathered are now inactive. There are thousands of "affiliates" launching new domain names with the same "1-tip" or "1-trick" content, so our enemy is on the move. And our enemy may have collected over a billion US dollars, according to the FTC.

The FTC recently did a sweep of these sites, which is another reason why so many of the domains I had blocked were inactive. But there are more out there. If you find one, use this form to report it to us. If you run a website and would like to collect our block-list, it's right here. Take it with our compliments.

You may have excess belly fat, but as a reader of Schlock Mercenary you certainly do NOT have excess stupid. You might have just enough stupid to keep you humble, but you're certainly possessed of piles upon piles of lean, mean brilliance to keep you from getting scammed. And you also have the moral fortitude to use your powers for the good of others.

Spread the word. If you see a 1-tip belly fat ad, report it here. If you run a website with advertising, add this list to your block-list

Note: If you use Adsense you can also block all weight-loss and/or supplement ads. Other turnkey ad brokers may offer similar functionality. Also note, if you're feeling really ambitious in the domain-name gathering, head out to robtex.com/dns and plug in an existing 1-tip domain. You'll be able to see who else is sharing their DNS server.