Weight-Loss Scams Among the Top Form of Fraud According to the FTC

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Weight-loss scams, foreign lottery offers and buyers clubs were the top ways that scam artists separated 30 million Americans from their money in one year.

Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to fall victim to scam artists than whites, the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement discussing its most recent survey on fraud. Twenty percent of blacks and 18 percent of Hispanics reported being defrauded, compared to 12 percent of whites.

Overall, 13.5 percent of U.S. adults fell victim to fraud, the FTC said.

An estimated 4.8 million Americans bought bogus weight-loss supplements, patches, creams or other products, making fat-fighting fraud the most common scam.

Foreign lottery scams that inform people they won a lottery they didn’t enter claimed 3.2 million victims, the FTC said. Buyers clubs that bill consumers for membership in a club they didn’t join had a similar number.

Other schemes included work-at-home programs and prize promotions. In both, victims were promised more than they got — if they got anything.

Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC’s consumer protection bureau, urged consumers to visit the agency’s Web site at www.ftc.gov to report fraud and to find out how to recognize scams.

The FTC survey, which was done between November 16 and December 20, 2005, asked about fraud during the previous year. It found that about 30.2 million people, fell victim to 48.7 million incidents of fraud in a 12-month period.

Source: Reuters

12 COMMENTS

  1. What a great service to others you are doing!

    Do you know anything negative about KIMKIN’s weight loss system?

  2. What do you know about the HCG drug for weight loss? They say you can lose up to a pound a day plus you have to follow a 500 calorie diet. Is it safe?

      • Hey Lori & April,

        I’ll make a personal promise to both of you that I’ll investigate the HCG and post my findings within 1 week from today. I’ve had several other people asking about this one too.

    • 500 calories anything will put your body in a starvation mode and you may actually GAIN weight!
      i am a gastric bypass patient and i have to eat 800-1000 calories a day.
      seriously,eat right and exercise.thats all there is unless you have a over sized stomach(which i did),or other medical problems that make you gain weight (steriods etc) get gastic bypass.talk to your doctor.

      • Virginia….I agree with the whole 500 calories per day is starvation mode. However, I have to disagree with Gastric Bypass being the answer to weight loss. GB only works if the patient is ready for a LIFE STYLE change….if the life-style doesn’t change, GB won’t work. I have worked in the health insurance industry paying claims for 20 years. The bad thing about GB is the fact that insurance companies consider GB to be “cosmetic in nature” and NOT covered UNLESS the patient is “morbidly obese” which means they have to be 100 (or more) pounds overweight. The patient must also prove that they have exhausted any and ALL other forms of weight loss without ANY success! I’m not sure about your situation, but most people do not have the THOUSANDS of dollars (yes, that is any number with 3 zeros after it) it takes to pay for Gb out of their own pocket. This includes all of the psych testing for you and your family, the pre lab work, surgery, doctor’s visits, facility costs, AND the after care!! If an insurance company doesn’t deem the surgery medically necessary, then NOTHING remotely associated with the surgery is covered. GB should be the LAST option due to the fact that it is, in fact, surgery which runs many risks up to and including death.

  3. What about Jenny Craig and LA Weight Loss Centers? I tried to get a job there so they couldn’t sell me the stuff but tell me how they sold this stuff and I came across some interesting things…LA Weight Loss Center charged people a fee to join (but my question is What ARE they joining?) and the fee was like 800 dollars plus the price for food!!! They take your blood for no reason just to make you feel special and you get a journal. So you get small miniature potions of food, and get to talk to someone once a week. If it doesn’t work then they give you fat burners. SHouldn’t you just be able to buy a 50 dollar a year card to able to buy their SPECIAL food and thats it? SCAM! what are your thoughts?

  4. I TRIED SENSA FOR ABOUT THREE DAYS AND BEGAN HAVING VOMITING AND A CONTINUOUS HEADACHE….CAN’T SAY FOR SURE IF THE PRODUCT CAUSED IT BUT IT WAS THE ONLY THING DIFFERENT THAT I WAS DOING….WENT TO THE DR. TWO TIMES AND HAD BLOOD WORK AND A CT SCAN DONE….STILL KNOW NOTHING AND MISSED 3 DAYS OF WORK…STILL HAVE SOME PAIN…NEEDLESS TO SAY I CANCELLED MY ORDER AND TRYING TO GET MY MONEY BACK…JUST WANDERING IF ANYONE ELSE HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS…..

  5. This product is a complete scam.It does not work.
    Also their “free trial” is a lie. They billed us for $ 89.95 although we cancelled their product.
    finally we were given a return # which cost $ 12.00 to return the product. So we paid $ 20.00 for nothing and we are now afraid, that they are charging our cc every month. we were also never refunded the $ 89.95. Stay away from them!!!!!

  6. I agree with the comment about GB not being a good option to safe and healthy weight loss. I have tried and had great success with weight watchers. I lost 75lbs in about 18 months and kept it off for several years. I am currently back on my weight watchers program due to some weight I gained after having knee replacement surgery. I let myself get out of control during that time and since I am facing the same surgery again on my other knee I want to lose the 30 lbs I gained and hopefully this time I can have better control. All in all I highly recommend weight watchers, IT WORKS!

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