The Better Business Bureau released a warning yesterday about a new wave of weight loss scams, just in time for summer.
More than five million Americans bought fraudulent weight loss products in 2011, the Federal Trade Commission said. There are more victims of weight loss scams than there are victims of prize promotions, buyers' clubs, Internet services and other complaint categories.
Fake weight loss products to watch for include nonprescription drugs, dietary supplements, skin patches, creams, wraps and even earrings.
The Better Business Bureau listed several guidelines to avoid buying fraudulent weight loss products:
- Be skeptical of misleading or unrealistic advertising claims, such as, "Lose 30 pounds in just two weeks," and before and after images that seem too good to be true.
- Watch out for statements that imply endorsement or approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Read FDA's guidelines at fda.gov.
- Don't fall for "free" trial offers that begin with payments for shipping and end with automatic billing for products or memberships.
- Don't forget the fine print. Read all terms, return policies and privacy policies.