Scam Alert -- How Scammers Sell Phony Weight Loss Products

Don't Fall for Fake Weight Loss Products' Promises of Fitness
May 18, 2015

Watch out for the clever tricks scammers are using to sell phony weight loss products. Con artists create fake emails and news websites to lure in buyers, according to reports from the US Federal Trade Commission.

How the Scam Works:

You open an email from a friend, the message contains a link and a short message, "Hi, Oprah says it's excellent" or "Breaking news." You click the link, it leads to a "news" website promoting a weight loss supplement. The site is filled with endorsements from Oprah Winfrey, doctors and reporters for established media outlets. 

Want to try this "miracle" weight loss product? Don't do it! Scammers are hacking into email accounts and sending out messages to everyone on the victims' contact list. The alleged "news" website is built by scammers and filled with fake articles.  

How to Spot a Fake News Site 

Scammers create fake news websites and publish endorsements of their products. Here's how to spot a fake site: 

  1. Don't believe what you see: The site may have the logo of a legitimate news organization and photographs of reporters, but this can be easily copied from the real website. 
  2. Look for "first-hand" experience: These sites typically contain articles where "reporters" write about their first-hand experience using the product. The reporter claims a dramatic weight loss - like 25 lbs over several weeks - with little or no change in diet or exercise.
  3. The site has testimonials and "free" trial links. These fake news sites have testimonials or comments from supposedly satisfied customers on the site. The website contains links to other websites where you can buy the "weight loss" products or sign up for a "free" trial.

For More Information

Read the Federal Trade Commission's full alert on fake weight loss products and the fake news websites used to sell them. To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (