In June 2023, scammers began to feature country music stars Luke Combs and Lainey Wilson in ads about keto weight loss gummies, despite the fact that they had nothing to do with these products. Their images and likenesses were being used without permission.
Further, websites based in India, including Outlook India, Mid-Day, and Deccan Herald, all published sponsored content articles that promoted this scam with Combs' name. Readers may have noticed some of these scammy articles in Google search results.
In our review of this matter, we found multiple ads on Facebook and Instagram that featured audio of Combs and Wilson speaking, but via voices generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The lip movements in these videos did not match the words spoken, so they were not deepfakes. Still, the vocal audio had been faked, meaning that they never said the words that were being spoken in the scam ads.
In one of the scam ads, the AI voice of Combs said that he had lost 46 pounds in just six weeks after consuming keto weight loss gummies, not long after appearing on "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast. The ad also falsely claimed that Dr. Andrew Weil recommended the gummies to him.
To be clear, Combs and Rogan had nothing to do with these weight loss gummies products.
It's true that Combs appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast on March 16, 2023, but again, Combs' voice in the scam ads was mostly faked, and neither man had anything to do with the weight loss gummies products.
The script of the scam ad with Combs' AI voice went as follows. It began with a genuine quote that really did come from his appearance on Rogan's podcast:
My physical fitness and my appearance and my size has always been something that I've struggled with. If I don't overcome it, it will be my biggest regret.
The rest of Combs' vocals in the ad were generated by AI:
Well, that was me two months ago on "The Joe Rogan [Experience] Podcast." Up until that point, nothing I tried had helped me. I was at an all-time low, then God blessed me with the miracle root gummies. My good friend Lainey Wilson had recommended them to me, and let me tell you, these things really are a miracle.
In just six weeks, I've shaved off 46 pounds and feel better than ever. I'm so excited to be partnering with this company because they've already improved my life so much. I can't wait for it to improve yours, too. So what are you waiting for? Another pound? Take the first step and click "Learn More" below.
As of this writing, Combs had not yet issued any statements about the scam.
Wilson, meanwhile, had addressed the matter on Instagram on June 20, telling her fans to avoid purchasing the products. She ended her video saying, "But I'll tell you what, it'd be real nice if they made some gummies that made your ass tell the truth."
For at least several years, scammers have used the image and likeness of various famous people to pretend that they endorsed various CBD and keto gummies products, all with promises of weight loss miracles. However, just about every celebrity featured in these scams attributed any weight loss they experienced to diet and exercise, not magic gummies.
Oprah Winfrey, Tom Selleck, Kelly Clarkson, and Mayim Bialik are just four of the dozens of celebrities who have been featured in these gummies scams. Just like Combs and Wilson, none of them ever endorsed gummies.
Clint Eastwood's image and likeness were also allegedly used with these products in the past. The legendary actor and director eventually won millions of dollars from two lawsuits, as we noted at the end of this story.
If any readers were victims of this scam, we recommend contacting your credit card company or whatever other financial institution you used to pay in order to try to block future charges.