AARP Virginia Fraud Alert for September 12: Weight Loss Scams

NO MATTER THE SEASON, plenty of us are looking to slim down, and scammers hope to pack their pocketbooks while we all try to unpack the pounds. In 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission, bogus diet products and programs accounted for nearly 30% of all complaints in the category of health care scams.

Here’s how they work. A web search on weight loss pulls up legitimate-looking websites often with supposed celebrity endorsements. The websites often encourage you to sign up for a free trial — which, if you read the tiny print, opts you in to getting charged for regular orders or additional products. In truth, the products themselves, often marketed as “natural” or “organic,” may actually be unsafe for your body.

Be wary of offers that promise “fast results” or “miracle” products. If you find a product of interest that claims to help you slim down, seek advice from your trustworthy sources, such as your doctor or a dietitian.  It is unwise to rely solely on the claims made in a product’s advertisements.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.

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