About the Company: Green Lobster CBD
The Green Lobster Website lists the company as Green Lobster Holdings LLC. They claim to be based out of Berwick, Maine.
There are no companies by this name registered in the United States. The closest I could find is a company that was dissolved for not filing its paperwork back in 2011 called Green Lobster Inc.
The truth is, Green Lobster CBD is not a real company. They’re just one of many websites that make up a large portfolio of scam CBD companies, all using the same tactic to lure in unsuspecting victims.
Here’s a screenshot of the official Green Lobster website.
It looks strikingly similar to a series of other scams we’ve already identified that we’ve been calling the “tamias herb tincture group.” Tamias Herb Tincture was the first iteration of this scam we came across and the one we tested to confirm our suspicions by using a prepaid MasterCard to order a bottle for testing.
Needless to say, the bottle never arrived. After numerous attempts to contact the company to check where our order was, we eventually gave up.
Thanks in part to our push to expose this scam, the Tamias Herb Tincture website was taken down, but several new versions have stepped in to fill the void. Every time we or other CBD experts expose a scam, another one just pops up in its place with a new name.
Here are a few more CBD scams we believe are part of the same organization:
- Dr. Green Leaves
- Essential CBD Extract
- Isolate Direct CBD
- Mountain Peak CBD
- Naysa CBD
- Optimal Choice CBD
- Organix CBD
- Prime Naturals CBD
- Pro Naturals CBD
- Vital Wellness CBD
- Vital Source CBD
There’s very likely to be many, many more than this. These are only the scams we’ve identified that use the same web template and product copy as Green Lobster CBD.
Here are a few examples of what the homepage looks like for all of these companies. They all use the same template — which was created by a company called Express Revenue.
Let’s break down the testimonial section for a moment.
I used Google reverse image search to find where else these images can be found on the internet. And it turned up some interesting stuff…
The first photo was taken from a Brazilian news website about retirement. The second was the profile photo for someone writing Yelp reviews. I found several of the other users as well, often on Brazilian websites.
The most interesting is the testimonial at the bottom — “Angie D.”
Angie is actually an English actress named Denise Welch. The photo on the cover is an image posted on several gossip sites covering a trip she took to Majorca.
Fake Reddit Reviews
I first heard of this company after suddenly seeing a ton of reviews popping up on Reddit. This is one of the main methods these scam companies use to promote their products. They start churning out tons of overwhelmingly positive reviews on forums like Reddit from different users.
However, these reviews are hard to miss. They’re almost always way over the top, using language like the testimonial page highlighted above. None of it really sounds like something a customer would actually write.
Reddit is highly moderated. While this is sometimes a bad thing, in this case, it’s a positive. All the Green Lobster reviews have been deleted, and the users spamming the subreddits have all been deleted too. Reddit has a long history of fighting scammers, so they’ve been very quick to identify the scam and delete all traces from the forum.
You should always be wary when you see a ton of new reviews from Reddit users that have never posted before.
Do your research above and beyond Reddit from reputable sources before you buy. Google the name of the company first, rather than trusting the Reddit reviews directly. If you don’t find anything from the search, it’s a pretty good sign it’s a scam. You may also find reviews like this from other reputable sources that can provide expert insight into the brand before you buy.
How Does the Scam Work?
This scam works by positioning a fake CBD product at a huge discount in order to collect credit card numbers.
These scams are advertised on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, paid Google Ads, and PR networks. Here’s an example of one of the PR campaigns the company is running at the moment.
We’ve seen this scam evolve over the last couple of years. It’s gone under many different names. In the past, this scam offered a free trial; all you had to pay for was shipping. But what you didn’t know is that it’s impossible to actually cancel your subscription, so the company would continue charging your card in perpetuity.
This scam has taken on a slightly different approach. Now, instead of offering a free trial (which is a well-known scam tactic at this point), the company is selling highly discounted products instead. They aren’t quite free, but they’re way cheaper than usual.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is — as is the case with this scam.
The company profits by using your credit card information to make monthly “subscription” charges.
They also profit by sending you shockingly poor-quality CBD products. You essentially pay $30–$90 for a bottle containing 20 inactive gummies —or worse…
You’re going to continue receiving charges on your credit card in perpetuity until you can either get through to the customer service team (unlikely) or cancel your card.
This site also collects your email, phone, and address. While I haven’t been able to confirm, it’s very likely they’ll either use this information to solicit more scams in the future or sell this information to someone else who will.
How to Spot a CBD Scam
There are a few hallmark signs of a CBD scam you should be aware of. Let’s cover each briefly.
1. Aggressive Calls To Action
Almost every CBD scam we’ve identified uses aggressive calls to action. On the homepage of Green Lobster CBD, you’ll find various flashing buttons that say stuff like “Rush My Order Now!” with a timer counting down the number of minutes you have to place the order before the product runs out of stock.
Tip: if you run out of time, just hit the refresh button… the timer (obviously) isn’t real.
Somewhat hilariously, Green Lobster CBD even put a call to action in the Crunchbase profile they set up for themselves.
2. Face Social Media Accounts
Social media does more than offer companies a way to reach more customers. It’s also an excellent way for customers to vet the company itself. This is because it takes a lot of time and effort to build and maintain a following on social media. You need to create new content regularly and offer legitimate value to your users.
One of the common themes with this particular brand of scam is that whoever is behind it is exceptionally lazy. We’ve seen the same sales copy reused dozens of times word for word on different websites. The only difference is the packaging of the product itself. These sites are full of typos, awkward-sounding sentences, and false information.
This is something I’ve seen on other scam websites as well. I think the idea is that knowing it’s a scam, the owner doesn’t want to put too much time and effort into building the brand because it could be shut down at any moment.
With this level of sloppiness, it’s unlikely these companies are going to spend any effort on social media —and if they did, it wouldn’t be enough effort to grow any sort of a following.
I always check the social handles of the companies I’m going to test out or review. When I went to visit Green Lobster, I found the links to their social media profiles are actually just an image without any link. They aren’t on any social media channels whatsoever.
3. Exaggerated Health Claims
It’s illegal to make health claims about any supplement without certifiable evidence in the form of phase III clinical trials. This is true for all companies, even registered pharmaceutical companies.
No CBD manufacturer can claim their products can cure any diseases.
If you find a CBD company making these claims, this should be a red flag. Only unethical or scam companies will do this because they’re already going to get shut down if they’re found out. They aren’t worried about breaking the rules put in place by the FDA because they’re already breaking other, more severe laws — such as fraud.
4. Nobody Answers the Phone or Email
If you’re not sure about a company — reach out to their customer service team. You should be able to get in contact with a human over the phone or by email within a few minutes. If you’re forced through endless phone menu loops or receive nothing but automated emails — it’s a pretty good sign you’re looking at a scam.
Even if it isn’t a scam, do you really want to order from a company that’s going to ignore your complaints? What happens if your order is damaged or doesn’t arrive? You’re going to want a responsive and helpful customer service team no matter what.
What To Do if You’ve Been Scammed
The first thing you should do if you get scammed is to take a deep breath and forgive yourself.
This isn’t your fault. Thousands of people fall for these scams every month. It doesn’t make you dumb or naive; it just means you made a mistake.
The next step is to first attempt to get in touch with the Green Lobster team (or other CBD scam). You should always at least attempt to solve this with the company before escalating the situation.
Send the company an email stating your intentions to issue what’s called a fraud chargeback with your credit card. State in the email that if you don’t receive confirmation that your subscription has been canceled and that there will be no further charges, you’ll order the chargeback and submit the company and website to the Attorney General for further action.
If they respond and cancel the subscription, keep a close eye on your credit card statements for strange charges and consider ordering a new card just to be safe.
If the company doesn’t answer, refuses, or attempts to make one more charge on your card for any reason, follow through with the above. You can call your credit card company and ask for a fraud chargeback to get your money back. Most of the major credit cards will do this without hesitation, but some will take a few days or weeks to investigate the matter further.
In very rare cases, your credit card company won’t issue a chargeback. Cancel your card and get a new one delivered to stop the charges from occurring.
Final Verdict: Avoid This Company Like the Plague
Green Lobster CBD is a scam. There’s no sign of their company on any corporate register, including the register in the listed home state of Maine.
This scam follows the same process and template as many other scams in the CBD space we’ve come across. Everything except the product imagery itself is a direct copy from other scams in this network.
Never enter your credit card information on this website. If you’ve already fallen victim, attempt to cancel your subscription immediately before reaching out to your credit card company to request a fraud chargeback.
You should always take a few moments to vet a company you’ve never bought from before. Check their social media profiles, attempt to contact customer service, read past reviews, and examine the website itself. There shouldn’t be any blatant medical claims, and nothing should be “too good to be true.”
If you’ve been scammed, or know someone who’s been scammed, send us an email to [emailprotected] so we can get the word out and help others from falling victim too.