Toto is a website where you can verify the food you are about to eat. In fact, Toto has been around for quite some time and they have done a lot of work making sure that the information they provide is accurate.
However, like all online services, it’s not perfect – there’s always going to be room for improvement. And in this case, Toto could do with some improvements regarding what information they give out.
For example, if I was using the site right now to check what I am about to put into my mouth, I would see this on their homepage:
I really hope that these are just typos or simple mistakes. But the reality is, they aren’t. They are actually part of a larger scheme that’s designed to deceive people so that they will buy more products from big corporations.
What Is The Toto Scheme?
The Toto scheme works by having companies pay Toto to list their product on the site. This way, consumers will think that they are seeing authentic reviews from real customers who bought the product before they did. However, the reviews are fake.
It’s a pretty clever system, but one that’s also surprisingly easy to pull off. First of all, Toto charges companies (usually via PayPal) to get listed on the site. Then, once a company gets listed on Toto, they send out emails to potential customers asking them to sign up for an account. Once they do that, they start receiving emails from Toto telling them how many other products they should buy based on the information provided on their site.
Once a consumer signs up for an account, he/she is then able to review any number of different products without paying a cent. It’s a very slick scheme. The only problem is that the reviews are fake, and that means that consumers are never getting genuine insight into a product before buying it.
To make things worse, Toto isn’t even doing anything illegal. According to the website, “No laws have been broken” and “All money goes back to the websites hosting and promoting the sites.”
But the thing is, Toto doesn’t seem to care much about that. In fact, they seem to be making money off of misleading consumers. That’s why we want to take a look at a few examples of how this scheme is working and what consumers can do to fight it.
Let’s take a look at the product we saw on the homepage above.
If you go ahead and click through to the page, you’ll find that the price is $2.99. Now, that may sound expensive, but if you compare it to Amazon, you’d notice that the same item sells for less than half of that on Amazon. So, when you add in shipping costs, you end up paying more than double the cost of the product. Plus, you don’t even get the quality that you would expect to receive from Toto.
That’s because this is a knockoff store. For instance, if you check out the listing for the same item on eBay, you’ll find that it actually comes from China, which means that it wasn’t made in the U.S.A.
So, while it looks like Toto has a good reputation for providing honest reviews, those reviews actually come from Chinese sellers. When you look at the reviews, you’ll see that they are really bad. So, when you compare those reviews to what Toto says they are looking for, you can see that Toto is lying, and that their reviews are really nothing more than marketing materials for their own product.
In addition to the bad reviews, Toto also provides positive reviews, but those are also fake. If you look at the product listing, you’ll see that Toto has given this product 5 stars, which means that they think it’s great. Again, the reality is very different. You’ll notice that the actual reviewers gave the product a 1 star rating, which means that they didn’t think it was worth their time to write a review for.
Now, let’s talk about another product that we saw on the homepage above.
This is the product that we saw at the top of the article. In order to read the review, you need to log in to your account first. Then, you’ll see a review that reads as follows:
And here’s another review that Toto gives out. This one actually tells us the truth. The reviewer said that they were going to buy this product, but they didn’t like it. What we don’t know though, is whether or not they got a refund for their purchase.
Here’s another example of a product that Toto gives away for free:
Notice what happens next. After you leave a comment, you are asked to share it on Facebook. That way, Toto knows that you liked their product enough to actually tell others about it. Of course, the review itself is fake, but at least there’s no deception involved here. So, we’re left to wonder if Toto will ever stop giving away their own product for free.
Of course, the worst part of all this is that there’s absolutely no reason that Toto needs to exist. Companies already sell their products on Amazon and elsewhere. Why do they need to pay Toto to list their products on the internet instead?
It seems like they’ve already taken advantage of every loophole there is, so why create new ones? All they’re doing is perpetuating the cycle of lies and deception, and we think that’s something that most consumers should oppose.
How To Stop The Toto Scheme
There’s really no way to stop the Toto scheme. At best, all you can do is try to spread awareness about it so that people become aware of the issue. Unfortunately, the more popular the Toto scheme becomes, the easier it will be for people to fall victim to it.
Of course, there are plenty of ways that you can avoid being scammed by Toto. For instance, you can simply refuse to use Toto to buy products. In fact, you probably won’t even need to do that, since most online stores allow you to return items for free. So, if you find yourself unable to trust the reviews that you get from Toto, you might want to consider returning the product you purchased.
You can also contact Toto directly and ask them to remove the product from their site. As long as you provide proof that you purchased the product from Toto, they should oblige. Just remember that they likely have hundreds of thousands of customers using their service, so they’re unlikely to want to lose business.
As far as spreading awareness goes, there are two main avenues that you can explore. One involves creating negative social media posts and spreading the word about Toto. The other involves contacting Toto directly and letting them know that you don’t approve of their business practices.
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