Health & Fitness

Strings attached to some “risk-free” trial offers

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.

Free trials video

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Health & Fitness

Eye the label before you buy

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.

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Health & Fitness

An alternative perspective

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.

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Health & Fitness

Wash that hype right outta your hair

Most of us know better than to seek the Fountain of Youth, take a sip from it, and expect to reverse the signs of aging. That’s called a myth.

When ads claim a product will permanently remove or prevent the growth of gray hair, but the claim isn’t backed by science, the FTC calls that deception – and we hold companies accountable for it.

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Health & Fitness

Attention Women Over 40: Claims may slim your wallet, not your waist

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.

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Health & Fitness

Spammy, phony weight loss promises

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.


Does that weight loss product contain unsafe ingredients?

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.

Image of diet pills and bottle

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Health & Fitness

The Highlights of the Highlights

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.

Annual Highlights Image

Checks in the mail

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a company called Lane Labs marketed products made out of shark cartilage, claiming they could treat and cure cancer.  Only, not so much. The FTC sued the company in 2000, they settled, and paid a hefty sum. The court also barred them from making claims about the health benefits of a product unless they had scientific evidence to support those claims.

National Consumer Protection Week in every community

When National Consumer Protection Week starts on Sunday, it will mark the 17th year of a growing partnership. NCPW now includes 89 federal, state and local agencies and non-profits working together to connect people with the best consumer education resources.

At, you’ll find resources to help you manage your money, handle credit and debt, stay safe online, avoid identity theft, and more. Read the latest news from consumer protection experts on our blog; share videos, articles, audio tips, and blog posts; order free resources; or file a complaint when you spot a scam. You’ll also get ideas on how to get involved so you can help us spread the word about consumer protection.

NCPW 2015 image