Diet and Weight Loss Scams May Lead to Fatter Wallets for Scammers

Nearly half of Americans say they are trying to lose weight, and with more and more people worried about weight gain while stuck at home during the pandemic, that number may very well rise. Unfortunately, scammers know this and are trying to take advantage for their own financial gain. In fact, diet scams are the most common types of health care fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission.
How It Works• Scammers feature products on websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate news sites and some products have fake celebrity endorsements.•Many products promise breakthrough or miracle results — often in only a few days or weeks.•They may even promise weight loss regardless of what you eat.
What You Should Know• These products often lure people in with free trials. You could find yourself with an expensive subscription after the free trial period ends.•It can be difficult to cancel these plans and even harder to seek refunds.•Some products advertised today contain banned substances. Sibutramine is one such ingredient. The FDA took it off the market a decade ago because it can raise the risk of heart attack or stroke.
What You Should Do• Before buying a weight-loss product, ask a trusted medical professional to help you figure out if it’s safe and effective.•Check out the company on the Better Business Bureau database (•When signing up for a free trial, read the terms and conditions closely. Make sure you are not signing up for an expensive subscription.

Reprinted from AARP Fraud Network