Weight-loss supplements come with all types of brand names and compounds promising everything from metabolism-boosting, calorie-burning, fat- and carb-blocking pills to newly discovered ancient tribal remedies.
The products are pandered online carrying free trial offers and money back guarantees. By no means should all the products be lumped into deceptive schemes, scam artists are taking it to new level not seen of before.
Idaho Falls resident Carol says she was amazed at the voice recording left on her answering machine.
“A gentleman with a very heavy Indian accent said he was calling regarding my recent order of diet pills,” she says.
Carol, in her mid-50s, says she’s never dieted, never used diet products, and would never order anything over the Internet.
“How’d they get my number?” she asks. “He said he needed to confirm my payment information and wanted me to read back my credit card.”
Scammers are creating a weighty problem for dieters and non-dieters alike as they fleece their victims by asking for personal and financial information. Known as phishing, it is a method of stealing your identity. These schemes may be as complicated as an email, or as simple as a phone call.
Carol says when he said he needed confirmation; SCAM! She knew the call was a fraud, and she hanged up and called BBB to report it.
Here’s some pointers to prepare you to shut them down:
- Ask the caller’s identity, who he works for, how long he’s worked there, his position, title, and where else has he worked. Phishing scams work on the con gaining your trust, and acceptance of them as an authority. If you ask questions he can’t answer, the con falls apart. Don’t be shy. Ask for his phone number, an alternate phone number and/or a fax number.
- Stop! Never give out your personal or financial information. Stop before you give that info up. Put the scammer on hold; that you’ll call right back. Then call your insurance company, bank, grandchild or financial advisor to verify the information.
- Report the information to the BBB, the company (bank, insurance, etc.), and if necessary the police.