Truth Behind The “Local Mom/Stay At Home Mom Discovers Teeth Whitening” Ads (Scam?)
I’m sure you have seen them by now. “Local Mom Discovers Tooth Whitening Device.” Often, “Local Mom” will be replaced with the name of your own location, as determined by your internet connection. You may see “Seattle Mom” or “Schenectady Mom” or whatever, depending on where you are.
Common variations of this scam include “Single Mom” as well as “Stay-At-Home Mom” and “Secret Teeth Whitening Trick.” All of these are meant to convince you of two things:
1. A mom is the central character. Moms are trustworthy, right? Moms know what’s good for you and what isn’t. A mom would never try to scam you, or engage in borderline fraud behavior! Heavens, no!
2. This is some kind of secret cheap trick that The Establishment doesn’t want you to know. Shh, don’t tell – those jerks at Colgate are trying to suppress the truth!
The tooth whitening scam is drearily obvious. You sign up for a service which sells you a perfectly ordinary tooth whitening kit at a ridiculous mark-up. If you don’t cancel your order on time, or in just the right way, your credit card ends up being charged a fee every month for a “subscription.” (Of ordinary tooth whitening kits at a ridiculous mark-up.)
Some of the ads picture a woman biting down on a plastic widget, which is glowing with blue light. This version of the scam involves a regular tooth whitening kit, plus a blue light that you stick in your mouth. Supposedly, the light “activates” the gel.
However, the gel is simply the usual hydrogen peroxide. It does not need to be “activated” with light. The light unit is just a regular LED flashlight shaped to fit inside your mouth. Its primary function is to empty your wallet.
The FCC and the Better Business Bureau have received many complaints about these various teeth whitening scams. Unfortunately, as soon as they shut one down, two more pop up somewhere else.
The best protection against these scams is to only buy name-brand products from a store that you trust. Yes, it can be a little expensive to whiten your teeth with a safe and effective product. But that’s what you’re paying for!
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