In May 2023, scammers placed misleading ads and reviews on various websites that falsely claimed country music stars Trisha Yearwood and her husband, Garth Brooks, had endorsed apple cider vinegar (ACV) "belly-melt" keto weight loss gummies. These online pages often featured Yearwood prominently, with Brooks somewhat in the background supporting his wife's supposed endorsement.
However, the couple had absolutely nothing to do with these products. Their images and likenesses were being used completely without permission.
It's unclear when the scam started. However, we've received emails from readers asking about Yearwood and weight loss gummies since at least June 2022.
As of May 2023, we found that the Facebook and Instagram ads featuring Yearwood and Brooks were using artificial intelligence (AI) in order to scam users.
Several paid video ads that showed Yearwood and Brooks included AI-generated audio of the couple saying things that, in reality, they never said.
Note: This was different than a deepfake. In deepfake clips, they show fake video of the person's mouth moving along with the words. In this case with the ads featuring Yearwood and Brooks, the video showed random clips and photographs of the couple, but only the audio was generated by AI. In other words, any mouth movement did not match the AI audio.
In order to create fake voices for Yearwood and Brooks, scammers simply found raw sound clips of the pair speaking and fed those audio files into a voice-replication tool. That tool then gave the scammers the ability to make it sound like Yearwood and Brooks were saying whatever words the scammers typed.
For example, one of the scam video ads had Yearwood saying, "Hey y'all. I'm giving a special 70 percent off discount to the first 1,000 [people] on my all-purpose, belly-melt gummies."
Any users who clicked on these ads were led to a fake Time magazine article that falsely claimed, "Trisha Launches First-Ever 'Weight Loss Gummy' in Partnership with Weight Watchers After Being Forced to Lose 60 LBS in Just Weeks."
For more information on these weight loss gummy scams that featuring fake celebrity endorsements, we recommend reading through all of our past stories about keto gummies.