Be wary of weight loss ads, subscription scams in the new year
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When it comes to the new year, scammers know all too well that many in our part of the world are going to be finding ways to lose weight and get in shape. It’s leading to more scams involving vitamins, weight loss formulas, and supplements in the Capital City.
Carmen Million, President, and CEO of South Central Louisiana Better Business Bureau said body wraps, topical creams, dietary supplements, pills, powders, skin patches, and earrings have been advertised to “melt” or “dissolve” away unwanted fat fast. She said these ads usually come with before and after pictures of people who claim to have used the product.
To help avoid weight loss scams, BBB recommends the following:
- Always be wary of advertisements and customer endorsements promising “miracle” results or immediate weight loss.
- Don’t be quick to trust endorsements. Many scammers use pictures of celebrities, TV show mentions, or well-known company logos to gain consumers’ trust without their permission.
- Avoid products that claim to help lose weight without diet or exercise.
- Check a product’s ingredients with the FDA. Be suspicious of taking special pills, powders, or herbs.
- Be wary of a lack of an ingredients list. Some companies have been accused of not advertising certain ingredients that can come with harmful side effects or mix adversely with prescription drugs.
- Be wary of free trial offers, and before signing up, understand all the terms and conditions.
- When participating in online forums and chat rooms focused on weight loss and fitness topics, be wary of individuals pushing products they claim will help quickly reach goals.
- Be realistic about your fitness goals. It’s hard work to lose weight. Find a program you can stick with, preferably one that you enjoy.
- Research the company with BBB.org before purchasing. Read reviews about the company to see if there are any complaints alleging that it’s a scam.
- Report the deceptive ads. Be suspicious of ridiculously positive testimonials on the company website. Testimonials have become an easy marketing tool and are easily faked. Call your BBB to report suspicious, confusing, or misleading ads to BBB Ad Truth or report a scam with BBB Scam Tracker.
- Consumers can also report the ad to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 877-FTC-Help.
- You can also report fake ads to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
To find BBB Business Profiles of specific businesses, go to BBB.org.
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