In December 2021, the International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB) outlined tips and tricks as a precaution for people hoping to “’lose a few pandemic pounds’ or a little extra holiday weight” entering 2022. Given the sheer number of scams that have flourished out of thin air, the BBB did their part to educate the public on steps to deciphering between legitimate and illegitimate products. Believe it or not, some of the tips provided are quite straightforward, yet both scammers and the public fail to pick up on them.
Matter-of-factly, a 2018 BBB study investigating deceptive free trial offers reported that nearly 37,000 complaints were made at the time. Likewise, BBB Scam Tracker reports have established a correlation between deceptive free trials offers and fake celebrity endorsements, stressing that it has been apparent and consistent since 2015. To think on average, each victim might have lost $186 is heart-breaking, making BBB’s recent post needed more than ever.
While we highly encourage anyone looking for the best weight loss pills to check out the likes of Exipure for example, there are so many fraudulent formulas on the market that it needs to be covered extensively to protect the consumer from chaos and confusion.
Nevertheless, here’s a summary of what the organization had to share:
#1. Be Wary of Miracle Results, Immediate Weight Loss and Endorsements
Any claims insisting weight loss of several pounds a week should be monitored. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention was referenced in highlighting that gradual loss of 1 to 2 pounds weekly is both reasonable and healthy for long-term results. Advertisements that suggest anything more than this range requires a consultation with a healthcare professional.
#2. Figure Out Your Fitness Goals Before Seeking Solutions
Weight loss is a journey encompassing potholes and speed bumps, the same way there might be an uphill. Thus, individuals must assess their respective goals before resorting to a strategy. As with any weight loss plan, it must factor in whole foods, and a maintainable exercise routine. When faced with an opportunity to choose, plans that reflect one’s abilities and health condition are deemed ideal. Simply put, going all in too soon can lead to setbacks and demotivation.
#3. Disregard Claims Surrounding Diet- and Exercise-free Weight Loss
Special pills, ancient traditions and any solution that touts weight loss without a care for diet and exercise must be reviewed meticulously. Most products of these kinds have been recalled because of their dangerous effects. Preferably, any formula presented before an individual must be cross checked with the FDA and Health Canada. Additionally, those on prescription medication are asked to analyze potential risks of interaction.
#4. Keep An Eye Out for the Terms & Conditions and Free Trials
Before proceeding to Check Out, the Terms & Conditions must be read thoroughly. Why? In many scams, subscriptions to other supplements and/or programs are usually hidden there. This is also where discussions on recurring versus one-time payments are held. Finally, another way that individuals might get sucked into subscriptions is through free trials. For instance, failing to return a supplement before the end of trial immediately has people enrolled into the repeated program. This is the point at which things might get out of hand because customer service (in scam products) rarely responds to emails or phone calls.
#5. Weigh Opinions Surrounding Weight Loss Products in Forums
An online forum is another platform to be watchful of, as other members might advertise and possibly push scams onto others. If faced with a similar situation, individuals are asked to refer to their goals and to ensure the aforesaid tips are studied before placing an order.
#6. Refer to BBB’s Database
The BBB is a great place to review a manufacturer and its supposed good or service. Most often, betrayed customers shed light on their personal issues faced with the manufacturer, shipments, excess payments, and customer service experiences among others. This is also a platform that depicts whether a manufacturer is BBB-accredited or not. Such an accreditation signifies that a business is “committed to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.”
#7. Do Your Part to Limit Scams
Suspicious advertisements and unrealistically positive testimonials should be reported to BBB, especially when the statements made are beyond confusing and/or misleading. Individuals can either call 1 (877)-FTC-Help or directly report to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
About The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB)
The IABBB is a network hub that has been established for BBBs in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Like BBB, this organization is dedicated to cultivating healthy, safe, and honest relationships between businesses and consumers, with emphasis placed on consumer confidence and trustworthiness. As a leader in setting the standards for marketplace trust, this group takes pride in:
- Encouraging and supporting best practices and educating businesses and consumers
- Celebrating marketplace role models
- Calling out and addressing poor marketplace behavior
- Creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities
To learn more about BBB’s standards for trust and/or the process of becoming accredited with them, click here.
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.