You’ve seen the ads all over the Internet and on television. “Lose the love handles,” “shed weight fast,” “Drop 10 pounds in a week.” But many of these offers are aimed at shrinking your bank account, not your waistline. Whether it’s the ubiquitous acai berry or other products promising huge results, here are some signs that a weight loss solution is really a scam.
- Watch for buzzwords: Is it a “miracle” “revolutionary” “secret” “scientific breakthrough”?
- Does it promise results without exercise or eating healthier?
- Is the key factor of success a particular ingredient, food or gadget?
- Does it require a contract or large advance payment? Or is there a free trial, with strings?
- Talk to a medical professional. If you think you need, or want, to lose weight, discuss your options with a health care professional such as a dietician or your personal doctor. They’ll be able to tell you whether a product is safe and effective.
- Contact your financial institution. If you’ve already made a payment for a product or service, contact your credit card company and/or bank and tell them that you may have fallen victim to a fraud. They’ll advise you on cancelling payments and ensuring your finances remain secure.
- Report your experience. Think you’ve been the victim of a scam or know of a scam being perpetrated on others? File a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or contact the AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center.