With aging, stress and being just plain busy, you might sometimes feel like you’re forgetting more things than you used to. So when an ad suggests a pill can reverse 10 to 15 years of memory loss, you might be tempted to buy it.
You may want to rethink that — even if the ad includes supposed backing by scientists, statistics and satisfied customers.
Spot a good deal on a skin care product online? Some ads say you can try a product out for free before committing to it. But know this: “free” trials aren’t always free — they might come with hidden fees and other strings attached.
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
In the 80s, singer Bonnie Tyler topped the charts with a song that had the lyric, “Turn around, bright eyes.” Who knew that for the millions of Americans diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, Tyler’s power ballad offers a tip to remember next time you’re in the drug store.
If your health care provider suggests you take a vitamin formulation to help manage your condition, check the front of the package and then turn it around to read the ingredient label to make sure you’re getting exactly what he or she recommends.
For many of us, homeopathy is one of those things we’ve heard of… but we might not be able to describe it, exactly. It’s a form of alternative medicine, and is based on the view that a substance that causes symptoms of an illness in a healthy person will — when diluted to a level that’s nearly undetectable — cure similar symptoms in sick people.
Why are we talking about this? Well, the FTC will be hosting a free, public workshop on September 21, 2015, to take a closer look at advertising for over-the-counter homeopathic products.
Weight gain and stubborn belly fat: the bane of many middle-aged women. But what if there were a clinically-proven supplement that could help you lose substantial weight, reduce that pouch, and increase your metabolism? Well, one company claimed that’s just what they were offering. Only one problem, says the FTC: the company doesn’t have the evidence to support its claims.
You get an email from a friend, with a link and a message: “Hi! Oprah says it’s excellent!” But did your friend really send this message? And what’s so excellent?
Millions of people got emails like this one, but not from their friends. Instead, according to the FTC, marketers hired by Sale Slash sent spam emails from hacked email and social media accounts. Why? To trick people into thinking the messages came from a friend. And, of course, to sell stuff.
Look at the label on a bottle of diet pills or another weight loss product. What ingredients do you see? Unfortunately, you might not be seeing the whole picture.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found hidden drugs and chemicals in hundreds of over-the-counter dietary supplements — even in so-called “natural” diet products. The FDA’s website offers a running list of tainted weight loss products, along with a helpful video: Being Fooled by Empty Diet Promises.
Every spring, the FTC issues its Annual Highlights for the previous year. It’s like a corporate annual report, summarizing what we did and how we did it. Interested in our mission to protect consumers? Here are some of 2014’s highlights.