New victim : same old story

New victim : same old story

Print This Post Print This Post

$12,000 down the drain. Imagine how hard someone must work in order to make $12,000 of disposable income, so that they can give it to Mr Sam Cohen of the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty (IHRB). IHRB’s latest victim, whom we’ll call Simon, wasted $12,000 on his credit card, in order to make Mr Sam Cohen a richer man. In the end, Simon is as bald as a billiard ball. He is unhappy. He feels scammed. He is taking action at the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT).

Simon will have a hard time convincing CTTT that he deserves a refund. From my experience, Mr Sam Cohen will make-up the facts as he goes along. Meanwhile, CTTT will be asking Simon to submit evidence. Sure, it’s fair enough that if you want to sue someone, you need to have strong evidence to support your case. However, we have three problems.

PROBLEM #1 Sam Cohen of IHRB has a criminal conviction for lying to the Tribunal. From my experience, and the experience of other victims, Mr Samuel Faraj Cohen will just fabricate evidence and make it all up, and mislead the Tribunal.

PROBLEM #2 Sam Cohen of IHRB confuses the authorities. He tells the Health Department one thing. He tells CTTT another thing. He tells the public something completely different.

PROBLEM #3 The onus of proof is pointed the wrong way around. Here is something that I would like the Chairperson of CTTT (Ms Kay Ransome) and the Minister for Fair Trading (The Hon Anthony Roberts MP) to understand:

CTTT Chairperson Ms Kay Ransome with Minister for Fair Trading, The Hon Anthony Roberts MP.

Dear Minister Roberts, and Dear Chairperson Ransome. No regular consumer ought to be required to prove that IHRB does NOT have therapeutic herbal extracts. I do not believe that it is up to consumers like Simon to prove what is NOT in a medication. Rather, it ought to be IHRB’s responsibility to prove what its products DO contain, and that the medications comprise safe and efficacious ingredients that have been approved by the TGA, tested in a laboratory, and sold via licensed, qualified health practitioners. Sam Cohen and IHRB fail this test. IHRB might hide behind some loopholes in relation to ‘extemporaneous compounding’. However, I have evidence to show that this loophole cannot apply. I have worked to expose IHRB for three years. It is exhausting that the onus of proof is on us, the consumers, when it is a legal requirement for the manufacturer of a hair regrowth (therapeutic) product to prove the efficacy of its ingredients. Minister Anthony Roberts and Chairperson Kay Ransome, respectfully I ask that something more deep and meaningful be done about Mr Sam Cohen and the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty! For example, we need a thorough investigation that asks Mr Cohen to prove the existence of his secret extracts. The law requires every other manufacturer to prove the efficacy of their treatment. Why is Sam Cohen exempt? He keeps deceiving us all. In the process, he takes $12,000 from Simon (and thousands more from others), and he knows he can do it because no-one in authority has asked him to account for his actions. When a scam can operate under our nose, and when someone like me and this website exposes it for years, and nothing is done about it, then it teaches the rest of society that crime does pay, and that honesty is for the mugs. I warm towards the Chinese method. In China, any recalcitrant operator like Sam Cohen is shut-down within two hours flat. This is now the third year that I have been ringing the alarm bells. Simon does not have a team of experts like the TGA or ACCC or HCCC or CTTT or NSW Fair Trading. You have the staff and the experts and the legal framework. Simon and I, and many other victims, can assist you. Let’s join forces and rid our city of scammers. No intelligent society ought to tolerate scammers.


Here is what Simon wrote to Mr Sam Cohen on 17 February 2012. Sadly, Sam Cohen denied all wrongdoing. So now, Simon will have to attend his first CTTT Group Hearing on 5 September 2012 (9:15 am, Level 12, 175 Castlereagh Street, Sydney). And the same old battles begin anew. Each consumer has to go through the fire, with little ammunition, simply because the average consumer does not dare lie, and does not have a legal team, and does not have the wherewithal to understand the intricacies of the alleged scam. Simon wrote:

Dear Mr Cohen, [Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty]

As you know I have been a client of yours since 2009. During this time, I have paid you over $11,500.00 for a hair regrowth program that you told me was exclusive to you, containing your special herbs and curries which you led me to believe were world-exclusive ‘Indian Curries’ that are supposed to be natural extracts, which you told me were the central secret ingredients, without which, your treatment and medications would not work. You said that people have taken Minoxidil for years, and they have seen no improvement, but with your special added secret extracts, we are guaranteed results.

I now learn that your secret extracts do not exist. And anything that you do claim to have injected into your formula was useless. I also know that [your first pharmacist] had made a statement that he never used your formula in the bottles you sold to me. And [your second pharmacist] said that he only used your grape-seed extract and vitamins for one month, and that these were useless, had no active ingredients, and no therapeutic effect for hair growth. So all this time I believe you have been lying to me. I believe that I have been scammed. Your price list shows bottles at $600 and later $900 for which you were charging me around $500 at a supposed discount. But even these bottles were easily obtained from the market at $15 to $70 depending on the strength. And all this time, you were never licensed to sell these medications anyway. And you only ever had one prescription from me, yet you continued to sell me medications for approximately three years. No prescription lasts three years.

I also now realise that you have been selling me medications throughout the periods when you were under serious Prohibition Orders, which makes your transactions a criminal offence. You might now allege that after October 2010 you had sold me only non medical products, in which case it is still a fraud because that is not what I had been paying $500-odd dollars for, for each bottle. To now say that you were selling me non-medical product at around $500 per bottle I allege is still a scam, and not what I was ordering from you.

Anything you wish to claim now about the ingredients will be tested in a laboratory with the solutions I have left.

The smoothest and simplest thing is for you to acknowledge your wrongdoing and refund me my money in full so that we do not make a big issue out of this.

If you do not wish to refund my money, I will take the matter further, to seek legal action to put my case forward. I believe I have strong evidence that proves my allegations that you have scammed me.

I would appreciate a response or a refund within 7 days.

Sincerely. Simon [I changed his name to Simon, for privacy reasons.]

By the way, I don’t feel so alone, especially when I realise that Mr Harry Markopolos spent TEN years trying to raise the alarm about Bernard Madoff, the scammer who was sentenced to 150 years in a US prison for scamming billions of dollars from innocent people. Poor Harry. I know how he feels.



Comments are closed.