Weight loss products such as diet pills and diet patches are popular because they greatly aid weight loss. Some companies put in a lot of work and money to research and come up with safe and effective products. On the other hand, other companies are in it just for the quick money and use different ways to convince you to use their product, and end up ripping you off your money. If you engage in any form of transactions with these scammers, you’ll not get any results because they’ll sell you ineffective pills and take your money.
It is therefore of great importance for you to learn the common tricks that these scammers use. We have researched the diet pill industry for a long time and come up with the common scams that you should be able to spot and avoid. They include:
- Free trials
- Fake News Sites
- Fake Review Sites
- Fake Testimonials
- Website Framing
- No Contact Details
- Credible Sources
These have been on the rise in recent years. The scammers usually set up a landing page offering a free trial of a weight loss product. They make you think that all you have to pay for is shipping and handling. This will entitle you to a free 7 or even 30 day trial of the product. At first, this may look like a great deal. You may think you have nothing to lose since you’ll be using the product for a number of days for “free”. Once the trial period is up, what follows is the torturous experience of being charged a ridiculous amount of money and having to deal with a nightmarish cancellation process. The scammers never tell you that in actual sense, you are not only signing up for a free trial, but also for a recurring payment. Many people have fallen victim to this scam. In 2011, the FTC sued three men from Utah for taking $467 million from consumers using “risk-free” trial offers.
Fake News Sites
Another tactic used by scammers is fake news sites. They set up sites that look like news sites giving reports that have “breaking news” on amazing weight loss products or discoveries. You are then directed to a place where you can sign up so as to experience the purportedly groundbreaking product. Many fake news sites use a picture of the French TV personality Melissa Theuriau. They usually have catchy headlines with promises that are too good to be true such as “Lose weight permanently without dieting and exercising”, “Everybody will lose weight with this miraculous pill” and “Lose one pound everyday”. Virtually, all fake news sites are scams.
Fake Review Sites
Some scammers run fake review sites. They optimize these sites to make them appear high in search engine results. They try to make the review seem as honest as possible. Usually, the diet pills being rated in these fake sites belong to the same people controlling the sites. Customers get duped by the supposedly independent review of products without being suspicious of the reviewer being the actual owner of the pills. Some may put a small disclaimer telling you that they are an affiliate of a diet pill. You should therefore be watchful of such disclaimers. Others may hide the fact that they are associated with or receive a commission from the diet pill maker. One giveaway of these sites is the different product reviews direct traffic to the same payment processor. They also don’t show a valid address through which you can contact them.
These scams involve amazing weight loss stories of people who claim to have lost a considerable amount of weight courtesy of some diet pill or patch. They use pictures of random people. They may put a disclaimer in small text saying “stock photography” or “results not typical”. You should watch out for these disclaimers. Another way to tell if the testimonials are fake is by checking whether they have before and after photos of a person’s tremendous weight loss. You should also check whether there is a way you can contact the owners of the site. Normally, they try to avoid any contact with customers because they know they are not capable of backing up their claims.
Scammers can use website framing to gain the trust of readers. What they do is using parts of other reputable sites on their websites. In this way, readers think that the scammers’ sites are associated with the reputable site. A classic example of this is ConsumerHealthCheck.com which used parts of Women’s Health Magazine.
No Contact Details
Some scammers set up sites to sell weight loss products and leave no contact details. If they do, they make it as hard as possible for you to find them. Some even display the address of the shipping company instead of theirs. In such a case, if you have any unpleasant experiences with products, it will be hard to get hold of the company that sold them to you. As a precautionary measure, never buy diet pills from a site that does not show its full address on its home page or contact page.
Diet pill scams have been around for many years. You should not expect them to go away any time soon. However, you now that you have more knowledge on them, you can spot them and avoid them. Other steps you can take to make sure you don’t fall victim to them are:
- Do a thorough online research on any company selling you a diet pill
- Keenly read the terms and conditions of offers
- Watch out for pre-checked boxes when filling forms
- Look for information on how to cancel future shipments
- After ordering, read your debit and credit card statements to make sure you’re not being charged for something you didn’t order