Jeopardy host Mayim Bialik continued to be targeted in paid ads in spring 2022 with an unsubstantiated and false claim of “allegations” against her. These Facebook-hosted ads lead to deceptive webpages crafted to resemble Fox News website. They all use Bialik’s image and likeness for a fake endorsement of Premium Jane CBD, Serenity CBD Gummy, Smilz CBD Gummies, or any other CBD gummies. (Fox News had nothing to do with the scams.)
To be clear, there have been no allegations against Bialik, and she has never endorsed CBD oil or gummies. The misleading claim of “claims” is clickbait and was never mentioned outside of the deceptive ads.
She previously addressed the fake and unauthorized CBD endorsement on her Instagram page:
Some of the Facebook ads we looked at featured a headline that resembled a death hoax for Bialik. They showed a close-up of the actor and TV presenter saying, “We say goodbye.”
The rest of the text in the deceptive ads reads as follows: “Jeopardy fans are in turmoil over the allegations pending against Mayim Bialik. Here is all the information currently available to the public.” This is all completely made up.
We reported on these grossly misleading ads and CBD gummies scam almost a month ago. A search of Facebook for recent posts revealed that Meta still allowed users to pay to promote the scam. Some of these sites were years old and allowed to display the paid ads for weeks if not longer.
A Facebook user asked on April 8, 2022, “Anyone else getting spam from this fake ad?”
“I receive these, as well as clickbait targeting other celebrities, multiple times a day,” one person said on April 7:
There was no shortage of users asking about the ad weeks after our initial fact check, like in this April 7 post, in which a user asked, “What’s up with this crap? “Allegations” pending against Mayim Bialik?”:
Another person posted on April 3rd about the Bialik ad: “Dear Facebook, I’ve literally asked 4 times for this ad to be hidden now (going on 5) and you keep bringing it back to my feed. Every 4 posts is this damn ad. I blocked it as “repetitive” and you keep showing it.”
We also noticed this post where a user shared the following screenshot of the false “accusations” against Bialik:
Notice the bottom of the screenshot where the paid advertising appears to lead to Amazon.com. However, this was nothing more than a scammer trying to make the link appear safe. It’s unclear why Meta approved this for a paid ad on Facebook.
The user who posted this screenshot pointed out that the end of the paid ad appeared to lead to Amazon.com. However, it wasn’t what it seemed. He shared this helpful information for the public:
I would like to remind you to think before you click. Here’s an interesting example of someone trying to get you to click: Look at the ad for a moment. It tries to trick you into believing that there’s something shocking (but ambiguous) about a famous person. That’s the catch. Check out the big bright letters – suggesting there has already been news. There is a URL to Amazon! This is a safe, familiar place!
Well – see the odd row of characters below? This code will try to do something on your computer. It could simply be some sort of tracking mechanism (not uncommon), or it could be quite nefarious. I’m not trying to be alarmist, I’m just encouraging you to think about whether something like this is really worth your time and what the potential risks are. Facebook tries to fight malware and dangerous ads, but practically everything they do in this area is automated – just because it’s on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s verified or safe.
Thanks for listening, you can return to browsing now.
Apparently, the paid ads on Facebook were so pervasive on a seemingly endless number of fraudulent sites that even Twitter users shared screenshots of them. “Here we have a sponsored advert by a Bangladeshi clothing house indirectly referring to ‘allegations’ against Bialik,” it said. “The ad includes a link and a showcase for an independent company that manufactures Pilates equipment.”
Here we have a sponsored advert by a Bangladeshi clothing house, indirectly referring to “allegations” against Bialik. The ad includes a link and sales pitch for an independent company that manufactures Pilates equipment. pic.twitter.com/HjItcgpGCp
— Andrew (he/him) (@eraserbones) April 4, 2022
The screenshot in this tweet showed a Facebook page called Rahman Fashion House. We found the site. In its Page Transparency section, a helpful section included on all Facebook Pages, it showed that the paid ads were still running on April 8th. When we clicked on the ads, they didn’t lead to Pilates machines, but to the same type of scam Fox News CBD Gummies sites we referenced in our previous fact check. The page we landed on specifically mentioned Smilz CBD Gummies, a product associated with other scams that we’ve covered in other stories.
We have contacted Meta regarding these paid ads on Facebook targeting Bialik with false “claims” and using her image and likeness for CBD gummies scam. This story will be updated should we receive an answer.