In no time it will officially be summer, and with summer of course comes more time at the beach. Many people will probably be trying to lose weight fast to look good in bathing suits and in summer clothing.
With the high obesity rates and easy access to the Internet, weight loss is an area ideal for scammers and what you see is not always what you get. The Internet allows people to camouflage their scammy products with legitimate looking things like logos, people they may have seen before, and formats that look like they’re legitimate news broadcasters.
Claims like “Eat Your Favorite Foods and Still Lose Weight,” “Lose Weight Without Diet or Exercise!” and “Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days” should be a red flag warning that the product is not legitimate and does not promote a healthy way to drop extra pounds. The only thing you’re likely to lose with these scams is your money.
The federal government is trying to warm people of weight loss scams. The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on Web sites that use the logos of real news organizations and fake testimonials to push diet supplements.
Here are some more of the top weight loss scams.
Fake Online Weight Loss Pharmacies: The Internet is full of online pharmacies that offer fast weight loss with very little effort. These one-stop Web sites are designed for you to lose nothing but your money.
Fiber Weight Loss Products: These products claim to full you up and help you curb hunger and cravings. Some of the fillers these companies use like guar gum may cause blockages in the stomach or esophagus.
hCG Diet: hCG is a drug to treat infertility, not weight loss. Dieters are encouraged to eat very few calories and not exercise. There is no credible research to support hCG for weight loss. You’re likely to suffer nutritional deficiencies instead of permanent weight loss.
Ab-belt: These slimming, sauna belts are marketed as portable and easy-to-use solutions for weight loss. They simply do not work. There is no evidence that proves electrical current will shred fat.
Monthly Membership Fees and Weight Loss: These are probably one of the worse scams. People sign up for access to Internet weight loss tools and they usually receive some kind of monthly product that purportedly helps them lose weight. These companies usually offer a money back guarantee and advertise people can try the product for free for 30 days. When consumers try to cancel and return the product, it’s usually hard to contact the company. Expensive shipping and handling costs are usually not refundable, and even after consumers cancel their membership, their credit card continues to be billed every month.
Other weight loss scams I’ve written about on my blog:
The Federal Trade Commission found that “an estimated 4.8 million Americans” were scammed by several weight-loss schemes that involved bogus pills, weight loss patches, creams and other gadgets.
The best way to lose weight is to get reputable help from your doctor. Talk with him or her first before starting any diet program. You can also check out the resources page on this blog where you’ll find links to the more reputable sites that help people lose weight.
If you’re looking for the characteristics of everyday real-life successful losers, one of the best Web sites for help with weight loss is the National Weight Control Registry. This organization started tracking statistics in 1994 from people — not clinical trials–who have lost weight and have kept it off for a significant amount of time, usually five years or longer.
What are some of the weight-loss scams you have heard of or tried? What has worked to help you lose weight and keep it off?
Kohi, Mansi. “Top 10 Weight Loss Scams Revealed.” The Times of India. January 26, 2012.
“Get the Skinny on Weight-Loss Scams.” Cantonrep News. January 10, 2012.