Billionaire Mark Cuban Sounds Alarm on ‘Shark Tank’ Scams

The entrepreneur has just challenged the Federal Trade Commission on scams related to the hit TV show ‘Shark Tank.’

Billionaire Mark Cuban is sounding the alarm over rampant scams. 

These scams take advantage of the success of the reality TV show “Shark Tank,” of which he and other famous investors are the stars.

The entrepreneur has just blasted the Federal Trade Commission, the role of which is to protect America’s consumers. Cuban told the regulator of a phenomenon that risks misleading many consumers and individual investors. 

Many companies are lying about being connected to “Shark Tank” to sell their products to consumers. For example, some businesses say they participated in the show and have the support of one of the sharks for their products, according to the entrepreneur. 

Some companies go so far as to say that their products have a shark’s blessing.

Other companies impersonate companies that were backed by “Shark Tank” investors to defraud potential investors and consumers.

The phenomenon is such that all the sharks of the famous show had to record a message of warning intended for the public. But first, let’s review how “Shark Tank” works.

‘Beware of Fake Ads!’ – Show’s Investors Warn

The concept: On one side are entrepreneurs who have a creative project, or have an existing business that they want to take to a new level. 

On the other side are investors, entrepreneurs who have earned tens or hundreds of millions of dollars with their businesses and who are on the lookout for innovative concepts that have the power to change the game.

An entrepreneur presents a project and tries to persuade at least one shark to invest in the business in exchange for a stake in the company. The entrepreneurs often look to benefit from the skills and the relationship networks of the sharks as much as their money.

The result is a program full of brilliant ideas … and absurd ones; pitches from entrepreneurs that succeeding in convincing … or failing miserably; hard negotiations, real moments of emotion, screams, laughter and tears. 

Above all, it presents many lessons to be learned for entrepreneurs, or even for investors, on negotiations, sales and the art of influence.

Here’s where the scammers come in. They want to take advantage of the notoriety of the investors and the success of the show and they set up their scams. 

For their part, “Shark Tank” investors want to make sure the general public doesn’t fall into these traps. They’ve prepared a nearly 40-second ad titled “Beware of Fake Ads! Check the websites below to know if a product is legitimately associated to ‘Shark Tank’ or a Shark.” 

The addresses of the sites of five historical investors are available, along with the ABC site dedicated to the issue, as references for the general public.

“Hello ‘Shark Tank’ fans, we appreciate you, and we would like to take a moment to warn you about a concerning problem: scam ads,” investor Lorie Greiner, one of the sharks, says at the beginning of the commercial. 

“There are businesses that are advertising online and on social media claiming to be ‘Shark Tank’ companies, but they never appeared on the show,” Cuban adds.

“Many of these businesses use the name and images of a shark in an attempt to sell you their products,” investor Daymond John continues. 

‘You Awake?’ Cuban Asks FTC Chair

“They might even show a photoshop picture of the product in the tank,” shark Barbara Corcoran quips.

“Before you buy please go to ABC official shark tank website to see a full list of all businesses that have been on our show,” advises investor Robert Herjavec.

“Be careful out there, and thank you for watching Shark Tank,” concludes Kevin O’Leary, the last shark.

In a tweet posted on Dec. 28, Greiner insists: “Please beware, check before you buy & help us spread the word! #SharkTank.”

This tweet was immediately commented on by the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who attacked the FTC. Mark Cuban indicates that they have already alerted the regulator to these scams but that the latter has still not acted.

“Hey @ftc we have been asking for years for you to stop this . You awake @linakhanFTC?” the billionaire tweeted at FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan.

The FTC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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