Weight loss scams are among the most common scams and with good reason. Many people want to lose weight and most of the scam products promise to do that for you easily without diet or exercise. The unfortunate truth is that there is no magic formula for quick and easy weight loss without diet and exercise, but scammers continue to prey on people looking for that quick solution to their weight difficulties.  Recently a Scamicide reader forwarded to me a misleading advertisement for Keto diet pills that promised to enable the user to lose huge amounts of weight without any particular change of diet or exercise, which is basically impossible.  The Keto diet is a popular, but quite controversial high-fat, low-carbohyrdrate diet.  Some advertisments for Keto diet pills falesly tout their endorsement by the cast of the popular television show “Shark Tank.”  Other celebrities falsely used in Keto ads include Chrissy Teigen who has strongly denounced the ads for using her name without her permission.  Actually her exact words were “this is completely made up bull***t.”

Making the problem even worse, many of the sellers of such phony diet pills take your credit card or debit card and then charge you for products and services you never ordered.  In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission, speaking about this type of fraud warned “The reality:  The company can’t support — or deliver on — those weight loss claims.  If you give your credit or debit account number, you get charged $60 to $210 every month — and it’s almost impossible to get a refund.  On top of that, you get enrolled in offers you didn’t ask for — with more monthly charges.”

TIPS

As for weight loss products in general, the truth is that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss and you should be wary of any product that promises you can lose tremendous amounts of weight quickly without dieting or exercise.  You should also be wary of any weight loss product that is sold exclusively either over the Internet or through mail-order advertisements. The best course of action is to ask your physician about the effectiveness of a particular weight loss product or program before you reduce your wallet in an effort to reduce your waistline.

Also, victims of this type of fraud who paid with a credit card were generally successful in having the charges removed, but those people who used their debit cards lost the money they paid to the scammers. As I often remind you, the fraud protection you get when you use your credit card for purchases is excellent, but the fraud protection you get when you use your debit card is tremendously limited.  Limit your use of your debit card to ATMs.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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