Cross-code sporting superstar Sonny Bill Williams is the latest celebrity targeted in an online marketing scam selling dubious fitness supplements via a bogus men's magazine website.
A website called Men's Health Life features photos of Williams in the boxing ring and a story explaining that the secret to his magnificent physique is the use of supplements called Optimal Stack and Mass PM.
The website, which appears similar to the website of popular magazine Men's Health, describes the All Blacks, NRL and boxing star as a "human anomaly" and then reveals that his "secret is out".
The story details how Williams turned to the supplements to remodel his physique when his performance began to decline.
"Williams still stands by his decision to take these supplements to help him burn fat and gain muscle," the website claims.
However Williams' manager Khoder Nasser said there was "no way" his client was involved in the promotion of the products.
"Sonny has absolutely no relationship with these deceptive frauds," he said.
Williams is in South Africa with the Chiefs and could not be reached for comment.
While at first glance the website appears legitimate, every link directs users to a "free trial" of Mass PM and Optimum Stack. Customers who take up the trial are asked to provide their credit card details and told they will not be charged if the products are returned within 14 days.
However, many customers have posted messages on a buyer beware website expressing outrage that their credit cards were charged hundreds of dollars after the supplement company refused to accept the return of bottles that had been opened.
"Don't buy into this *** scheme, free bottles my ***!!," said one poster to the website. "Full charges applied after 2 weeks, here's the kicker. If not satisfied with product just return it, ***!! They don't take open products back, how are ya supposed to try it first without opening the bottles??"
The website features dozens of complaints from consumers claiming to have been ripped off.
A spokesperson for Men's Health said the magazine was not linked to Men's Health Life and its legal team was looking into the matter.
"This is not us or our NZ licensee, Pacific Publishing from Australia. Our legal team is aware of the matter."
The scam appears to have been running for at least two years, using a combination of a fake website and the identities of celebrities such as actors Matt Damon and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and basketballer LeBron James to entice gullible consumers looking for a fitness boost.
Florida-based web marketing expert Casey Slaughter Stanton described the Men's Heath Life scam as "the worst of the worst" when it came to using unscrupulous selling tactics online.
Mr Stanton came across the scam last year and posted a blog explaining how it worked and warning consumers to beware.
A marketing consultant and speaker for the company Tech Guys Who Get Marketing, Mr Stanton said the scammers were damaging the celebrities whose identities they stole as well as customers who purchased dubious products and the online marketing industry itself.
• Website passing itself off as a notable men's health magazine claims to have unearthed the secret of Sonny Bill Williams' amazing physique
• Claims he uses and endorses two workout supplements that must be taken together
• Links on site all lead to a page asking for credit card details to secure a "free trial"
• Customers who take the trial are told they cannot return bottles that have been opened and their credit cards are charged up to US$150