Following a distinguished career as a leading neurosurgeon, an unsuccessful candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, and four-year stint as the secretary of housing and urban development, Dr. Ben Carson has allegedly managed to reinvent himself once again—this time as a spokesperson for shady miracle cures on social media. “Dr. Ben Carson discovered 3 completely natural ingredients, and as a result, blood pressure disappeared forever,” one Facebook post reads. “Headaches go away, blood cholesterol levels decrease, and symptoms caused by increased blood pressure disappear.”
Readers with high blood pressure will unfortunately have to stick to their low-salt diets and moderate exercise regimens for a bit longer, however: These attributions are fake and are part of a larger network of online scams.
Numerous posts have appeared on Facebook since mid-December attributing medical advice and product endorsement to Carson, primarily related to hypertension. One post features a Time cover story and another a CNN report, both of which are fake. Similar posts featuring celebrity doctor and failed Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz have simultaneously appeared on social media.
“Dr. Carson has never endorsed or even heard of this product,” a representative for Carson told The Dispatch Fact Check. “This is a scam and completely fake.”
Both the Oz and Carson posts link to fake web pages resembling those of the British scientific journal Nature with headlines that read, “After such vascular cleansing, elderly people finally get rid of high blood pressure and other 9 supposedly ‘incurable’ diseases!” The fake websites use different URLs, registered in October and December 2023 respectively. All links on both pages also redirect to a site selling CBD Gummies branded under the names Gentle Wave and Vigorvita.
Both of the domains used to imitate Nature webpages are registered to the same address in Phoenix, Arizona, and a phone number with a New York City area code. The address and phone number are also linked to a number of other businesses that appear to be illegitimate.
The product pages for both Gentle Wave and Vigorvita CBD Gummies are both registered to an address in Reykjavik, Iceland, and calls to the registrant’s Iceland phone number were not answered. The same address and phone number are linked to a ransomware scam investigated by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in 2021.
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