How to protect yourself against tongkat ali scams

Therefore, you can bet they use PayPal to process payments.

Why? Because PayPal allows payments to an anonymous person. The only thing a potential buyer gets to know is an email address of the seller. No true name, no true address.

But anyway, Google makes it easy to uncover fakes. Just search the terms tongkat ali cheats, or try tongkat ali scams. The worst sellers, by the way, are in Singapore.

PayPal and Ebay are the scammers' best friends. So, in order to protect yourself, don't buy from sites that only offer to process payments via PayPal.

Demand a bank account. Banks are properly regulated. Bank accounts are always in the name of a proper person. And to receive payments, both the true name and the true address of a recipient are needed.

Try to demand a bank account for your payment! You will find out that more than half of all sites selling what they claim is tongkat ali, will refuse to provide a potential buyer with a bank account. And give you all kinds of excuses.

Thieves. Con artists. [1] Scammers. Dregs and scum. All of them.

An honorable seller does not hide behind an anonymous PayPal front. He or she provides a genuine name and address of a payment recipient.

And if ever a seller who gave a buyer a bank account and address tries to scam you, just tell them that you will provide transaction details to Serge Kreutz, if ever you are not refunded. I will take care that the case is published.

They will refund. No time limit. And this is proper buyer protection. Not the half-hearted kind you get from PayPal.



1 Michael Germana, Counterfeiters and Con Artists: Money, Literature, and Subjectivity, American Literary History Volume 21, Issue 2Pp. 296-305

Tongkat ali scam with forged and irrelevant government licenses

One tongkat ali scam currently making its rounds is to trick people out of their money by presenting forged or irrelevant licenses of the Indonesian government, as well as forged lab tests.

Irrelevant licenses are, for example, licenses pertaining to a business registration.

Indonesia is a Western democracy, with many rules equivalent to those of Western countries.

This means everybody of legal age can walk into the concerned municipal office and register a business. In Germany, such a document is called Gewerbeschein, and it is issued in 20 minutes.

Even street vendors of newspapers need to have such a Gewerbeschein, and so do drug-addicted youth selling their hand-made jewelery.

It's the same in Indonesia which still follows the old Dutch codes in many matters of trade.

The following licenses are issued to any Indonesian who applies for them:

SIUP - Surat Izin Usaha Perdagangan - general business permit; every Indonesian business obtains this simply by request

TDP - Tanda Daftar Perusahaan - business registration; just a fancy registration receipt

HO - Surat Izin Gangguan - a permit to cause disturbance; every Indonesian business has this

Akte Pendirian Usaha - a simple notarized form of business registration

It may not be as quick as in Germany, but all of the above are a mere formality, and cost only nominal fees.

Any Indonesian website selling tongkat ali that tries to project an image of legality and credibility by publishing such irrelevant documents on their website is taking consumers for a ride... and it's likely to be an expensive ride for the mislead buyer, both financially and in terms of the damage done to his or her health.

The single relevant license that an Indonesian business selling tongkat ali must possess is a Nomor Depkes.

The Nomor Depkes is a product-specific registration code that permits a product to be sold as medicine or traditional medicine.

Any buyer of any tongkat ali product originating from Indonesia, or claiming to originate from Indonesia, should demand from the vendor the Nomor Depkes. If the vendor cannot provide this, it is obvious that the product is a fake, and most likely a dangerous one on top of that.

Now, if a supplier comes up with a Nomor Depkes, feel free to write to me. You may want to do this because some illegitimate distributors just usurp a Nomor Depkes from a legitimate sources, and I can show you how to find out.

Furthermore, I have seen documents in the name of a woman who has been named after the city of Medan. These documents misrepresented a large production facility belonging to "Sumatra Pasak Bumi" as belonging to her and her outfit, established just a few month ago.

Buyer beware. It doesn't take much computer knowledge to forge scans of documents, or jpgs stolen from other websites.

If ever you want graphic proof of how authentic a company is, look for photos. Photos are not as easy to manipulate as are scans of "licenses". Any genuine company will include on their website photos of their buildings, their staff, their raw materials, and their production processes.



1 Vincent J. Gnoffo, Requiring a Thumbprint for Notarized Transactions: The Battle against Document Fraud, HeinOnline, Rev. 803 (1997-1998).

2 Amy E. Robillard and Ron Fortune, Toward A New Content for Writing Courses: Literary Forgery, Plagiarism, and the Production of Belief, JAC, Vol. 27, No. 1/2 (2007), pp. 185-210.

3 Yael Navaro-Yashin, Make-believe papers, legal forms and the counterfeit Affective interactions between documents and people in Britain and Cyprus, SAGE Journals, Anthropological Theory March 2007 vol. 7 no. 1 79-98.

4 Justin Picard, Claus Vielhauer, Niels Thorwirth, Towards fraud-proof ID documents using multiple data hiding technologies and biometrics, SPIE Digital Library, From Conference Volume 5306 (June 22, 2004).

5 David L. Greenaway, Documents embossed with optical markings representing genuineness information, Jan 22, 1980.

6 Berg, I. A., A comparative study of forgery., Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 28(3), Jun 1944, 232-238.

7 Eggert, Paul, Authenticity and forgery: 'this branch of human wickedness': a review article. [Review of Forged Documents: Proceedings of the 1989 Houston Conference], Bulletin (Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand) Volume 15 Issue 1 (Sept 1991) ISSN: 0084-7852

8 WANG Yue, The Procedure and Key Points for Examination of Forged Printed Documents, Chinese Journal of Forensic Sciences 2012-02.

9 A Jessica Fridrich , B David Soukal , A Jan Lukas, Detection of copy-move forgery in digital images, Proceedings of Digital Forensic Research Workshop.(2003).

10 WANG Lizhi, Inspection of Changed and Forged Computer-Printed Documents, Journal of Liaoning Police Academy 2005-05.

11 Mohammed B. Hemraj, The Crime of Forgery, Emerald Insight, Journal of Financial Crime Vol. 9 Iss: 4, pp.355 - 359 1993.

12 LI De-ying, LU Yu, WANG Kong-bao, Systematic Examination of Forged Documents with Authentic Seal Stamps, Chinese Journal of Forensic Sciences 2002-01.

13 Tkachenko, I., Puech, W., Strauss, O., Gaudin, J.-M., Fighting against forged documents by using textured image, IEEE Xplore Digital Library, pp. 790-794.

Cleaning up scams on the tongkat ali market

Most of the tongkat ali sold via the Internet is fake. I assume that about 97 percent of the sites selling tongkat ali cheat customers. Worst infected are trade portals like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. Anybody can start selling on Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. One just has to offer a fake product at a price which is low enough, and will have the first stupid buyer within three days. Payments can be accepted without necessity to reveal one's identity. And that is the crux.

Many people with low moral standards are willing to become fraudsters if they can hide their identities. And the best buyer protection is to demand to pay to a personal bank account. Avoid PayPal and even credit cards when paying for tongkat ali.

After you paid to a bank account, and if you doubt your supplier is legitimate, let me know.

If I, too, suspect your source to be a scam, you can give me the seller data, and in exchange, you will receive a bottle of 100 capsules of 300 mg of genuine 1:200 extract, free of charge.

Please note: this offer applies only in case you purchased a fake. If you bought from well-known legitimate distributors, I have the seller data anyway, and you would not qualify for the free bottle.

Furthermore, the scammer must be identified by a bank account. A bank account is backed by a verified identity. A name in email correspondence means nothing. Fakers of tongkat ali use fake names all the time.

With an identity backed by a recipient bank account, I can easily get law enforcement agencies on the heels of scammers. I collect rewards for putting tongkat ali scammers into legal trouble.


The tongkat ali ethanol / alcohol extract scam

One of the clearest indications that a seller of alleged "tongkat ali extract" is a scammer, is a claim that he sells an ethanol (alcohol) extract.

Just to soak 1 kg of tongkat ali root powder needs about 5 liter of liquid. Assuming an 1:200 extract, the yield would be 5 gram.

A typical low retail price of a genuine water-based tongkat ali 1:200 extract is about 3 dollars per gram.

Now, the scammers claim to sell an ethanol (alcohol) extract at about 1 or 2 dollars a gram.

Now think how this would work out: selling 5 gram of ethanol extract at less than 10 dollars, while using about 5 liters of alcohol (ethanol) in the production.

What is the cheapest ethanol? Maybe some Russian vodka.

Alcohol is heavily taxed everywhere in the world, whether you drink it straight, or soak your strawberries in it, or your tongkat ali root powder. Denatured, industrial alcohol would be cheaper but unfit for anything that makes it to the human digestive system. And pure medical alcohol isn't cheaper than the cheapest spirits.

So, 5 liter vodka, let's say 100 dollars, in a country where alcohol is cheap. With a technically complicated redestillation equipment, some alcohol (with heavy tongkat ali flavor) could be regained. Let's say 50 percent. That still would leave a cost of about 10 dollars per gram of extract, just for the lost alcohol.

But think a bit further. Redestillation equipment needs approval from authorities. Without that, a product is moonshine. And with moonshine you risk methanol and blindness.

Theoretically, an ethanol extract would be possible. But to do this economically (but certainly not cheap), you need a proper industrial plant. And this would come with a proper brand. Not just a website in which any petty criminal can claim to be as large as Pfizer.

Large brands for alcohol (ethanol) extract would be on shelves. Now go to your next GNC and look for ANY alcohol (ethanol) extracts. Good luck. It's not commercially viable.

And then, why alcohol (ethanol) extract. The active ingredients in tongkat ali root, especially eurycomanone, are perfectly extracted with alcohol.

And as far as proper licenses are concerned: scammers are not so much into cheating authorities. Too messy, too risky. Scammers cheat gullible buyers (idiots). Why should they bother with authorities on the matter of alcohol permits, if they can just write: tongkat ali high potency ethanol extract! Best quality! Super cheap!

Some idiots will believe it anyway, without any proof.

Even if an Ebay scammer or website gangster will claim that his tongkat ali extract is produced in outer space to take advantage of weightlessness, he will still find an idiot-buyer who will believe it without thinking himself.

Maybe that idiot-buyer will send an email to the scammer-seller, asking: is it really true.....

And if the scammer-seller replies: yes, we invested hundreds of millions of US dollar.....

The idiot-buyer will believe it and send his dollars.

Because some people believe just everything.



1 Stephen Barrett, Why Consumers Need More Protection Against Claims for Dietary Supplements and Herbs, International Journal of Toxicology September/October 2003 vol. 22 no. 5 391-392

2 James Trawick, Progress in Consumer Education, HeinOnline, 21 Food Drug Cosm. L.J. 78 (1966)

3 Charles A. Morris, MD; Jerry Avorn, MD, Internet Marketing of Herbal Products, The Journal of the American Medical Association, September 17, 2003, Vol 290, No. 11