Scammers unfortunately have taken advantage of the tremendous popularity of garcinia cambogia, a weight loss supplement, by scamming consumers of their hard earned money in a free trial scam. Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit also known as the Malabar tamarind.
Advocates claim that this weight loss supplement blocks the bodies ability to make fat and reduces your appetite. They even claim that it could lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As I will discuss in a moment, the jury is still mixed on whether garcinia cambogia is even effective in helping with weight loss.
How the garcinia cambogia free trial scam works
How the garcinia cambogia free trial scam works is the scam companies entice people to purchase garcinia cambogia with a free trial where you only have to pay a small fee for shipping and handling, such as $5.87. Sadly, this “free trial” is far from free.
The reality is that after the “free trial” period is up, generally 14 days after completing the order, these companies charge an “enrollment fee” or something similar in an outrageous amount, such as $89.83 or even more.
From there it only gets worst as they will typically continue charging you every 30 days for a monthly supply of the weight loss supplement until you cancel.
One particular company that I read about charges $129.89 for a single bottle of their garcinia cambogia supplement and thereafter every 30 days.
To add insult to injury these scammers will often charge you for other products, such as useless detox supplements and/or enrollment into a dining club or something similar, at ridiculous prices that you didn’t knowingly agree on buying.
Garcinia Cambogia free trial scam can result in hundreds of dollars in charges on your credit card
This scam can literally result in your credit card being racked up in hundreds of dollars of charges.
I read one story online of a lady that didn’t notice the charges on her credit charge statement until over eight months after placing the initial order. This company charged her $89.83 every 30 days for the garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement plus an additional detox supplement, the later claiming to cleanse your body of toxins.
As a result, she had over $1400 of charges from this company on her credit card for what amounted to eight bottles of an inferior garcinia cambogia supplement and what is likely a useless detox supplement.
I say that the garcinia cambogia supplement from this scam company is inferior because it contained 50% HCA (hydroxycitric acid), substantially less than the minimum of 60% HCA that experts recommend garcinia cambogia supplements contain to be effective in aiding with weight loss.
HCA (hydroxtchitric acid) is the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia purported by advocates to reduce appetite, increase metabolism, burn fat and lower cholesterol.
The weight loss supplement that she purchased from the sellers also contained 200 mg of caffeine as well as 300 mg green tea leaf, the later containing an additional 21-31 mg caffeine.
Ironically, this particular company, by the title of their garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement, suggested that their product was pure. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Scam companies garcinia cambogia weight loss supplements often inferior
Sadly, it is all too common for the garcinia cambogia weight loss supplements sold by these scam companies to be inferior products, containing less than the minimum of 60% HCA recommended by experts.
As I talked about a moment ago, these products often contain additional ingredients other than garcinia cambogia, such as caffeine as well as fillers such as gelatin.
Difficult to return weight loss supplement as “free trial” usually starts from the literal time you place the order
With these scam companies the “free trial” typically starts not from the time that you receive the product in the mail but the time that you actually place the order.
Due to this it can be next to impossible to return the garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement and any other items you were duped into ordering as you might not even have received the product(s) yet before the “free trial” period is over.
Scam companies often use several different company names making it impossible to have credit card company block future charges
These companies have a tendency to use multiple different company names. Even if you have your credit card company block charges from them there is a good chance the charges will still go through as they’ll simply debit the money from your credit card using a different company name.
Can be challenging to contact the scam companies to cancel your order
Often it can be very difficult to even contact these companies to cancel their order and your recurring auto-ship subscription.
I have read several complaints from victims of this scam where when they tried to contact the company by telephone their call went to voice mail and was not returned.
Furthermore, some of these companies only provide a 1-800 number to contact them which only works if you live in the USA or North America. Thus, it can be next to impossible for people living in other countries outside of the USA/North America to contact these companies to cancel their order.
Other consumers have reported that the email address provided by some of these companies does not work either.
Even when people who have duped in this free trial scam get through to the company in question getting their money back can be difficult to next to impossible. Often people requesting a refund and/or that all further charges be stopped are conveniently disconnected and even have their phone number blocked from the company.
There have been many reports from consumers of the scam companies agreeing to cancel the recurring auto-ship subscription but offering the weight loss supplement as well as any other supplements purchased for a reduced amount.
One person that I know who contacted one of these companies to request a refund and cancel all future charges was offered the garcinia cambogia that had been shipped to her at $39.95 opposed to regular price of almost $90.
When she declined the sales representative asked if she wanted it for $19.95. She decided to cut her losses and pay the $19.95 for the garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement.
Scam companies often make false claims that their weight loss supplement is endorsed by Dr Oz
Many of the scam companies will make ridiculous claims such as their garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement is endorsed by Dr Oz. The truth is that while Dr Oz did back in 2013 promote garcinia cambogia in being effective in helping people lose weight he does not by any means endorse these scammers particular garcinia cambogia products.
Dr Oz actually did a show in 2015 where he exposed some of these scam companies that fraudulently use his name to sell what is often an inferior weight loss product at exhorbant prices.
Scam companies charge highly inflated amounts for what are often inferior garcinia cambogia weight loss supplements
I am not exaggerating in stating that these scammers are selling what are often inferior garcinia cambogia weight loss supplements at exhorbant prices. Frequently, they are charging several times more than you’d typically pay from a reputable source such as Amazon.com or the pharmacy section in a popular retail store.
For example, you can buy 180 capsules of 100% Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract with HCA, Extra Strength, the number one weight loss supplement on Amazon.com, for around 20 bucks, several times less than what these scam companies charge you.
The jury is mixed on whether garcinia cambogia is an effective weight loss supplement
The jury is mixed on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia in helping with weight loss, even garcinia cambogia products from reputable companies.
Several studies have been done showing minimal or no positive effects of garcinia cambogia in weight loss reduction. In one such study published in the Journal of Obesity the people taking garcinia cambogia lost a mere two pounds more than those who did not take the supplement.
The researchers don’t even know if the weight loss of those taking the supplement in the study was in fact from the garcinia cambogia or simply because those in the studies were typically on a lower calorie diet and exercising regularly, both of which are proven to help people lose weight.
Another study, by Steven Heymsfield, a medical doctor, in a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia found absolutely no weight loss benefits.
This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998. According to Heymsfield, since than there has been around a dozen negative studies published on garcinia cambogia.
In contrast, there have been studies that have reported to have found positive effects of garcinia cambogia in aiding with weight loss. One particular study reported that treatment groups administered garcinia cambogia had a significant reduction in weight, triglycerides, total and LTD cholesterol. In addition, they had an improvement in high density lipoprotein cholesterol as opposed to those in the controlled group who were given a placebo.
Yet another study examining the efficacy of HCA (the active ingredient found in garcinia cambogia also known as hydroxycitric acid) in 54 overweight patients found that garcinia cambogia was indeed an effective weight loss supplement.
The controlled group which was given a supplement containing garcinia cambogia 500 mg three times a day lost an average of a whopping 11.4 pounds per person versus the control group given the placebo who lost only 4.2 pounds per person.
It should be noted that both groups were asked to asked to stay on a low-fat diet and drink 64 ounces of water per day.
Garcinia Cambogia can be bad for your health
Not only is there significant controversy on whether garcinia cambogia aids with weight loss, it could actually have a negative effect on your health.
In 2009, the US Food and Drug administration warned consumers to stop taking garcinia cambogia because some people taking this weight loss product developed serious liver disease.
Furthermore, if you are diabetic and taking medication to control your blood sugar, your glucose could get dangerously low by taking garcinia cambogia.
This weight loss supplement can also interact with a variety of other medications including asthma, allergy, psychiatric and pain medications.
In addition, garcinia cambogia can interact with statins (drugs that lower cholesterol) and Warfarin (a blood thinner).
What to do if you have fallen victim to the garcinia cambogia free trial scam
If you have fallen victim to the garcinia cambogia free trial scam there are steps that you can take to try to get your money back or at minimum not have these scam companies place any more charges on your credit card.
- Contact the company in question to request a refund and that all further charges be immediately canceled. I have read some reports online of consumers being able to get full refunds by threatening to report the scam companies to the attorney general.
- If the company does not refund you it is probably a good idea to cancel your credit card to avoid any future charges. As I stated earlier in this article these scam companies have a tendancy to place charges on your credit card using multiple company names. Thus, even if you call your credit card company to block charges for the weight loss supplement they will simply charge your credit card using a different company name.
- If the company does not agree to refund you contact your credit card company to dispute the charges. Often you can file a dispute through credit card companies website. If not, contact the credit card company by phone.
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
- Report the company to the Federal Trade Comission via the FTC Complaint Assistant at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
- Consider using a prepaid credit card, available at most convenience stores, for online purchases. This will help prevent you having multiple future charges from these scam companies.
The best way to lose weight is through diet and exercise
Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy fix to losing weight. If you are wanting to lose weight the best way to do so is by old fashioned eating in moderation as well as having a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Being successful at losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is really a lifestyle change. I personally back in 2016 lost over 90 pounds through diet and exercise alone during that one year period.
I was certainly not starving myself either or spending hours a day working out. I simply ate a healthy diet, gradually eliminating foods that were contributing to my weight gain and overall poor health.
In addition, I started exercising regularly. According to the Mayo Clinic website it is recommended that we participate in 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.
This does not necessarily mean having to go to the gym three or four days a week. It can be as simple as going for a walk or cycling (the later I can no longer do unfortunately with my peroneal nerve damage).
When I first started my weight loss journey I joined Weight Watchers. Though I did like the support and weight loss tips that I received from Weight Watchers, I found that I was just as able to lose weight on my own.
Instead of counting points with Weight Watchers I started using the free calorie counter and activity tracker MyFitnessPal to track my calories consumed, exercise as well as my weight.
MyFitnessPal can be accessed both through their apps (available for Android and iOS) and through any web browser. To be honest I did not use MyFitnessPal the entire time I was losing weight.
I used it mainly at the beginning of my weight loss journey and whenever I starting falling off the wagon, so to speak, falling back into my old habits. MyFitnessPal helped tremendously in keeping on track with my weight loss.
I found the Reddit weight loss forum LoseIt (Lose the fat) to be a very supportive and helping environment encouraging me to keep moving forward with my weight loss.
At the beginning of my weight loss journey I did try taking a garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement. Unfortunately, it did not help me at losing weight at all, only causing me to have an upset stomach.
Websites, Blogs, Forums and Facebook Groups With Info On the Garcinia Cambogia Free Trial Scam
- Stop Garcinia Cambogia Free Trial Scam (Facebook group)
- Should You Avoid Garcinia Cambogia Free Trial Offers?
- Warning Of Diet Pill Scam
- The Garcinia Cambogia Free Trial Scam
Information on Garcinia Cambogia
- Garcinia Cambogia – Excellent article written by a medical doctor
In closing, I hope that I have saved someone from falling for this scam. I know how difficult it is to lose weight and wish you the best as well in your goal to lose weight. I always love to get comments from my readers so please do not hesitate to comment on this scam by filling out the comment form below. I would particularly be very interested in seeing comments from victims of this scam.