Fake advertising on the internet spares no one, not even the Vice President of India.
Venkaiah Naidu, on Friday, shared his own experience in Parliament of being duped by an ad that promised he would lose weight in 28 days.
The Vice President took up the issue during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, initiated by Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Aggarwal, on the adulteration of food articles. Naidu explained how he lost Rs 1,230 when he fell for the ad and decided to purchase a pill that would allegedly help him lose weight in a month.
"Soon after becoming the Vice President, I came across an advertisement for a medication which promised to help me lose weight in 28 days. I talked to a few people, but they said this was not true. Then I saw the advertisement again, which mentioned that the consumer needed to pay Rs 1,230 and I made the payment,” he said, according to a TOI report.
Much to his surprise, the Vice President received a packet which asked him to pay Rs 1,000 more to get the medicine.
“I paid the money and after some days received a packet. When I opened it, there was a note inside which said that I have to pay some Rs 1000 again to get the original medicine,” he added.
Realizing it was a trap, he wrote a letter to Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan highlighting his experience and urged the government to take immediate action against the menace of fake advertisements on the internet.
On receiving the letter, Ram Vilas Paswan ordered an inquiry and informed Venkaiah that the company that issued the advertisement was based in the United States.
The Minister for Consumer Affairs later confirmed that his ministry is working on a new legislation to take immediate action against companies that make false promises on the internet.