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A crime never punished – selling fake tongkat ali on Amazon



I am often amazed how easily people can be fooled on Amazon. One of the latest scams I have seen is that petty criminals sell alleged tongkat ali extract, especially via Amazon.

Of all herbals, I believe that tongkat ali is best suited for this scam because it probably is the most expensive herbal of all. You usually also cannot find it in Western health food stores.

I am certain, tongkat ali is also best suited for scammers in poor Third World countries because it is a tropical herbal. I assume that a Third World Amazon scammers who can sell just 100 dollar worth of fake tongkat ali extract to a buyer in the US has already generated more than a monthly income in his country.

With that kind of earning prospects, yiu should not be surprised that youngsters in poor Third World countries flock to computer and Internet schools at a much higher rate than their peers in industrialized nations.

I have heard that among Internet-savvy youth in Third World countries, eBay, even more than Amazon, has the reputation of being a cash cow. Or, depending on your political orientations, a means to justly correct the wealth imbalances between poor and rich countries.

Yeah, you buy fake tongkat ali on Amazon. It is a 99.9 percent safe crime. You can assume that the danger of a scam victim in California initiating prosecution against a scammer in Calcutta is already almost nil.

And mind you, that is just for the initiation of prosecution, such as filing a police report.

You can assume that the chance that such prosecution would actually result in a conviction, is infinitesimally small. Any conviction (probably anyway just six months on probation) would cost you as a victim tens of thousands of dollars through private investigation. Why? Because you don't have a hard copy of the dealings, it’s all just in cyberspace. The police in countries like India are not equipped and not trained to deal with Amazon scammers.

Talking about money. For doing tongkat ali extracts, you have to place substantial investments, no less than 100,000 dollars even for the cheapest setting.

Now, do you believe that anybody puts down that amount of money and than just runs an Amazon storefront and auctions off capsules by the bottle? Some of your peers have strange ideas after being blinded by seeing a tag that advertises a lower price.

So, what do people sell on Amazon as tongkat ali powder or extract, loose or in capsules?

What you can buy on Amazon is sometimes just saw dust mixed with ash.

This makes sense, but of course only for scum and scammers.

You'd have an easy time to mix saw dust with ash. To produce a fake 1:50 extract, you can use 70 percent saw dust and 30 percent ash. Ash from burning wood works best. Ash from burning paper is too fine.

If you want to produce a fake 1:200 extract, you use about 50 percent root powder plus 50 percent ash.

For best appearance, you use a kitchen mortar and a pestle… just the equipment used to ground and mix curry spices.

Your result is optically almost indistinguishable from genuine tongkat ali extract. It looks the same, and it even tastes miserable

So how do you determine whether a product you bought, or intend to buy, is genuine or fake?

Use your common sense (and don’t be blinded by lower prices).

If you see a company that exist for a few months only, but brags as if they are a century old, that is much more likely to be fake than companies that have been around for many years like Sumatra Pasak Bumi (tongkatali.org). And retail outlets on Amazon that do not even run a proper company website are almost certainly fake… unless they sell a product of a large manufacturer (like I do) at a reduced profit margin.

Indeed, many Amazon retailers do claim to sell products of large manufacturers, but even these claims are most of the time fake (youn should write to the manufacturer; they are usually more than willing to confirm whether a retailer is authentic or not).