Huffpost New York

Cosmetic Surgery Company Used Bogus Testimonials Online: Cuomo

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says a cosmetic surgery company has acknowledged its employees posed as satisfied customers to praise its facelifts online.

Cuomo announced a $300,000 settlement Tuesday with the firm behind the Lifestyle Lift procedure, performed in a network of doctors' offices in New York and 21 other states.

His office says the case appears to be one of the first to address so-called "astroturf" marketing, or creating a bogus grassroots buzz about a product.

Lifestyle Lift representatives didn't immediately return a telephone call.

Cuomo's office says the company violated consumer protection laws by having employees post phony testimonials, reviews and comments on various Web sites.

Cuomo says the company will now be upfront about its online promotions.