Turn to Tara: Weight loss drug craze fuels surge in online scams

But with the surging demand, so too are scams targeting those seeking a quick fix. The Turn to Tara investigative team is helping you spot these scams and protect yourself.

News 12 Staff

Jun 17, 2024, 11:38 AM

Updated 27 days ago

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As summer approaches, many are seeking out prescription weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy to achieve their beach-ready goals.
But with the surging demand, so too are scams targeting those seeking a quick fix. The Turn to Tara investigative team is helping you spot these scams and protect yourself.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to be wary of online pharmacies offering these medications at discounted prices, often requiring payment through digital wallets or other unconventional methods.
"They're placing ads on social media and websites," says Claire Rosenzweig, CEO of the BBB Metro NY. "No reputable pharmacy will ask you to pay through cash apps. Also, be wary if they ask you to wire money or buy gift cards."
One Long Island woman recently learned this lesson the hard way. Isis Navarro Reyes of Shirley was arrested by federal prosecutors for allegedly selling contaminated weight loss drugs she obtained from South America through TikTok. Reyes, who wasn't licensed to administer medication, reportedly made her sales during the peak summer season.
"Some scammers will try to appear legitimate by offering a teleconference or televisit," explains Rosenzweig, highlighting the deceptive tactics employed by these criminals.
To protect yourself from falling victim to these scams, the BBB recommends the following:
  • Avoid purchasing medications from foreign countries.
  • Only buy from reputable pharmacies with legitimate contact information and a working phone number.
  • Check online for consumer reviews.
The average victim loses between $150 and $600 to these scams, the Turn to Tara team found.


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