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The Rise of Weight Loss Drug Scams on TikTok, Faces Backlash

Weight loss drugs such as Wegovy and Ozempic have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, leading to a shortage in the market. Capitalizing on this heightened demand, scammers on social media platforms have begun offering to ship these prescription drugs at lower prices and without the need for a prescription. A joint investigation conducted by Digital Citizens Alliance and Coalition for a Safer Web uncovered numerous instances of these scams on TikTok, shedding light on the deceptive tactics used to exploit vulnerable individuals seeking weight loss solutions.

The Rise of Weight Loss Drug Scams on TikTok, Faces Backlash
Source: Bloomberg

Scams Unveiled

Researchers found multiple TikTok profiles advertising the sale of prescription weight loss drugs, accompanied by testimonials and before-and-after photos to lure in potential buyers. Despite the promising claims made in these videos, the investigation revealed that nearly all of them were fraudulent schemes aimed at deceiving unsuspecting consumers. Tom Galvin from the Digital Citizens Alliance emphasized that the prevalence of these scams underscores the ease with which scammers can target individuals seeking weight loss aids, ultimately leading to financial loss and potential health risks.

TikTok’s Response and Consumer Risks

In response to the investigation, TikTok stated that it has stringent policies in place to prohibit such behavior and that it actively removes accounts violating its guidelines. However, the persistence of these scams highlights the challenges platforms face in combating fraudulent activity effectively. Consumers who fall victim to these scams may suffer financial losses, receive counterfeit or harmful products, or endanger their health by using prescription drugs without proper medical supervision. Galvin emphasized the seriousness of these risks and urged consumers to exercise caution when encountering advertisements for weight loss drugs on social media.

Awareness and Limitations

While the investigation focused on TikTok, it is acknowledged that prescription drug scams can also proliferate on other social media platforms. Despite the limitations of the study, including its scope and the number of identified problem accounts, the findings underscore the need for increased awareness among consumers regarding the prevalence of such scams. With approximately one in six Americans reportedly using weight loss drugs like Ozempic, education, and vigilance are crucial in safeguarding against potential harm.

Manufacturer’s Caution

The manufacturers of Ozempic and Wegovy emphasized the importance of using these drugs under medical supervision due to variations in dosage and potential risks associated with unsupervised usage. Their statement underscores the necessity of consulting with healthcare professionals before initiating any weight loss regimen involving prescription medications.

The Rise of Weight Loss Drug Scams on TikTok, Faces Backlash
Source: New York Post

As the popularity of these drugs continues to rise, consumers must prioritize their health and safety by seeking professional guidance rather than succumbing to the allure of discounted or unverified products advertised on social media.

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