In the modern world, its my opinion everything is a scam, until proven otherwise.
Further, marketing literature never provides a standard of proof, so consumers must suffer the research investigation effort.
When I'm in the market for a product, here's what I do:
1) Individual background checks:
Many scam artists are exposed after criminal background checks on persons associated with the questionable product. Product names change frequently, but many civil suits and public policy issues are archived in local news sources, using the name of the prosecuted individual(s).
2) Legal database searches:
Many scam artists are exposed in litigation cases:
Unlike consumer forums like ripoffreport.com, court cases reliably identify verdicts and penalties decided by public policy and a jury of our peers.
The wiki on Ripoffreport shows the website operator embroiled in litigation for allowing competitors to slander legitimate businesses with impunity, and we don't know if its 41 complaints against John Russel's Power4Home system are inspired by a similar competitor.
Available to most university students, the Lexis/Nexis private legal database has existing law and cases. A search for "John Russel" and Power4Home may be found in that database.
Cornell's public database only searches existing law:http://www.law.cornell.edu/search/index.html
Consumers suffer these decisions largely because Case Law databases were traditionally unavailable in the public domain.
Since my college professor dad was laid off, we lost our access to his university resources. And, I haven't looked for a public case-law database recently. It would help us all if someone knew of one, and could advise us where its located.
In the mean time, ask your local library if they have a case-law database, to perform a search for references to "John Russel" or Power4Home