New Year, New You – Get Healthy, Get Scammed?

BBB Consumer Alerts
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With the New Year comes resolutions for a healthier lifestyle that often include more exercise and eating right. Many consumers look to join a gym, start eating better or try a new health supplement in order to jump-start their resolution. But if you aren't careful, you could find your bank account getting slimmer than your figure!

Better Business Bureau offers these tips for consumers looking to jump-start a healthy lifestyle without getting scammed in the process.

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Gym Memberships

Joining a gym can be a big decision and before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

  • Take a tour. Make sure the gym has the equipment, classes, and trainers you need or expect. Pay attention to things that are important to you, whether it’s the cleanliness of the locker room or the availability of Wi-Fi.
  • Calculate the true costs. Gyms often use special introductory offers to encourage new members, but the price could go up more than you budgeted once the initial period is over. Make sure you understand what the regular monthly fees will be and what they include.
  • Don’t feel coerced. Don't give in to high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facilities, do some research, and make an informed decision.

Meal Delivery Services

Meal delivery services offer a convenient way for consumers to make simple healthy meals at home. Before trying one of these services, make sure you know what you are agreeing to.

  • Read the fine print. Many meal companies want to entice new customers by offering impressive coupons like "$100 off" but read the fine print. You won't be able to get 3 boxes of free food, instead, you might get a small discount off several shipments once you are subscribed to the program.
  • Beware of automatic shipments. Be aware that many meal delivery services run on an automatic shipment schedule. Know what you are agreeing to so you aren't surprised by another package of fresh food on your doorstep and another charge to your credit card.

Diet Plans and Health Supplements

Before starting a new diet plan, pill, or health supplement you should always contact your physician first. Be wary of exaggerated or fake health claims that accompany these products which claim to give you the "perfect" body in one month.

  • Don't trust celebrity endorsements. Just because the company or advertisement claims they are endorsed by a celebrity doesn't mean they actually are. Refer to the celebrities' official social media pages or website to make sure they actually endorse the product.
  • Is it really a "free" trial? If you only have to pay for shipping, is that still free? Prevent yourself from falling for a free trial offer scam.
  • Research the company. See if there have been any other complaints or reviews for the company or website. You can learn a lot from other consumers' online reviews. You can always search on bbb.org to see if a company is trustworthy or not.

Source: BBB.org

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org.

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