HELENA — Many people use the new year to better themselves, but according to the Federal Trade Commission, millions of Americans each year fall prey to a weight loss scams.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning about products or programs that just seem too good to be true.
“It’s not a bad thing to want to get healthier,” said Hannah Stiff, BBB Montana Marketplace director. “But at the BBB we do see a lot more cases in the new year of people getting taken advantage of.”
The BBB report in a 2018 study that consumers filed 37,000 complaints with an average loss of $186 per person.
People should always be wary of items that promise spectacular weight-loss or anti-aging.
Predatory companies often offer “free trials” that are actually hooked into a subscription service.
Falsified celebrity endorsements are commonplace for these predatory subscription services.
Stiff says more than anything else, people should read reviews of the product on multiple trusted websites.
“The other thing people really need to be cognizant of, is it is imperative that you read the fine print,” said Stiff. “None of us like scrolling on our phones through all of that tiny print, but that that is where all of the language about the high high cost you’re going to be regularly charged is buried.”
Stiff also advises using a credit card for online purchases since those charges can be stopped or reversed.
False ads can also be reported to the FTC at 877-382-4357.