RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you are trying to lose weight, there are hundreds of health care and weight loss products to choose from. But not all of them do what the label promises, or are even safe to take. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) of Virginia has recently released some tips to spot the ones that are not worth wasting your time — or money — on.

False advertising is a widespread issue for weight loss products — diet products and programs took up nearly 30% of all healthcare scam complaints that the Federal Trade Commission received in 2021. For this reason, the AARP is warning consumers to do their due diligence when they discover a new diet or weight loss product.

According to AARP Virginia, weight loss scams can seem legitimate thanks to some tried and true methods, such as a professional-looking website and fake celebrity endorsements. These sites may also advertise tempting offers such as a free trial, but be wary of the fine print. Websites will often offer a free product or a good deal but will try to hide that this will cause the cost of services and products to go up.

AARP Virginia also states that, besides being expensive, the actual products advertised are also not likely to help you meet your weight loss goals, and while these products are often advertised as “natural” or “organic,” they could contain harmful ingredients.

The best thing you can do is to use caution and be wary when something sounds too good to be true, according to the AARP. Before trying something out that promises fast results, consult your doctor to see if the product is legitimate and right for you and your weight loss goals.