On June 13, 2023, one day after the Denver Nuggets had won their first NBA title, we looked into a claim that was made in an online article that said former NBA star Charles Barkley was leaving the TNT TV show, "Inside the NBA."
According to the story, Barkley had either resigned or his contract with TNT was "abruptly terminated."
The headline of the article read, "TNT Has Pointed The Finger At Charles's Wife, Maureen Blumhardt, For The Analyst's Unexpected Resignation."
However, this rumor was false. The made-up story was published on an unknown date prior to June 13 in order to push a scam involving the promotion of purported keto weight loss gummies.
If this news had been real, it likely would have been published on all major sports news websites.
The article showed a logo for an apparently made-up news organization named, "Breaking News Alerts (BNA)." It was posted to the dubious website top-magazine-trending.com and began as follows:
She's famously known as Charles Barkley's wife, but Maureen Blumhardt has proven she's a savvy businesswoman in her own right - and Charles Barkley is in DEEP trouble for it.
Maureen Blumhardt, most famously known as the 59-year-old wife of Charles Barkley, has shocked the entire world after being revealed as the sole reason for her husband's departure from his hit TV show 'Inside The NBA'. Why? Because she failed to disclose her massive weight loss company to TNT (while making regular appearances on the show), which is actually a HUGE competitor to the show's sponsor 'Weight Watchers'. Maureen's product is one tenth of the price and twice as effective as their competing product, which has Weight Watchers threatening to pull advertising from the network completely. Charles Barkley's contract was abruptly terminated.
Lucky for them, Maureen's product has been incredibly successful and is taking over the weight loss world by storm - and her net worth is even more than his! The product is called Quickshot Keto Gummies and it has taken the world by storm. Quickshot Keto Gummies is repeatedly selling out within minutes and Maureen says her number one struggle as CEO is sourcing enough products to be able to adequately service the demand.
We were unable to obtain a working link to the article to include in our fact check. The reason for this was that scammers employ tactics to make their articles hidden unless they've been accessed via specific ads. When users click on those specific ads, the ads act like a key to open a door, unlocking the article to display on their screens.
The top of the article falsely claimed that the news had been shared by CBS News, ABC, NBC, and Fox.
The scam also misleadingly said that celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian, Charlize Theron, and Sandra Bullock all joined with Barkley and his wife, Maureen Blumhardt, to endorse keto weight loss gummies, even though they had nothing to do with the products. The image and likeness of each of these famous people were used without permission.
The article played on the old meme of unnamed doctors being mad about something. Remember old ads with the line, "Doctors Hate Him"? The story said that Blumhardt had made doctors "angry" and "furious" by revealing something about keto weight loss gummies. Again, this was completely made up.
CBD and keto gummies scams often claim that people will be able to magically lose weight with the products, and that no diet or exercise would be required.
In the past, many of the websites where the supposed weight loss gummies could be purchased enrolled customers in subscription charges of hundreds of dollars per month. They also sometimes didn't display phone numbers for customer service, something that may have been done on purpose in order to make it more difficult for customers to find a way to cancel a monthly subscription.
If any readers were victimized by these scams, we recommend contacting your credit card company to tell them what happened. You also can report fraudulent activity to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
For more details on how these sorts of keto weight loss gummies scams work, we encourage readers to look through some of our past articles on the subject.