Hair Loss Rip-Offs
Hair Loss Scams
There are many types of hair loss scams. Some use deceptive advertising, some take payment and never send a product, and some products just don’t work. How can you tell the legitimate business from a scam? Here is what to watch for in order to recognize a scam and protect yourself.
Look for a Disclaimer
Some websites have a disclaimer page – READ IT! This is the “fine print” where a company can weasel out of their advertising claims. When a business specifically disclaims that their product is fit for any particular purpose, which means they are selling a novelty item. It really isn’t fit for anything.
Another thing to look for is a statement about the company’s liability. One business selling a hair loss product claims that their owners, employees and agents are not responsible for any damages resulting from the use of their product. What does that tell you about that business and their product?
Before and After Pictures
Most people know that before and after photos can easily be faked but some efforts are downright crude.
Aside from touching up the photos there are several tricks scammers use to deceive you. Ask yourself the following questions about before and after photos.
- Are pictures taken from different distances?
- Is different lighting used?
- Are they taken from different angles?
- Is the hair dyed a different color?
- Is one picture wet hair and the other dry hair?
- Is the hair combed in different directions/styles?
- Did they spray on fake hair?
- Is the crown in the same location?
The last one above may seem strange but one company actually did use two different people for the before and after photos. How could you tell? The crown on the top of the head was in a different location. Outside of surgery it is just not possible for a crown to move two inches to the side.
Better Business Bureau
The BBB is not nearly as helpful as one might think but they are worth checking out. Does the company have any unresolved complaints against them?
Look for Feedback
Find out what people are saying about a product by using your favorite search engine. Here are some of the useful search terms. Be sure to put them in quotes.
- “scammed” “product name”
- “scammed” “company name”
- “real or fake” “product name”
- “fake” “company name”
- “fake” “product name”
- “problem” “company name”
- “problem” “product name”
Beware of Auto Ordering
We are always wary of a company that autoships (and bills) every month. That type of practice has its place but it surprises a lot of people and is used by many scammers.
If a guarantee is important to you, you need to read it very carefully. Not all guarantees are real, nor do they cover what you might expect.
One company says they have a 12 month-100% guarantee but it only applies to the first 10 days after purchasing a 12-month supply.
Some guarantees cover the shipping costs and some do not. That means the return shipping costs may or may not be refundable.
With some companies you have to return all containers, both empty and unused. Some companies insist that you use the original shipping container to return product for a refund.
Many companies require that you use a return authorization number. Never return a product without first contacting the shipper or they may “lose” your order.
Beware of products that claim to be FDA approved. It’s a sure sign of a scam when the product is a supplement and not a drug. The FDA neither approves nor disapproves of supplements, only drugs.
It is helpful to be able to recognize when the success rates claimed are beyond belief. One hair loss product claims their success rate is over 90% but the most powerful drug on the market for hair loss, Propecia, only works in 83% of users. If they claim more than that, they are likely to be a scam.
Advertising by Spam
Most people are aware of what spam is but for those who don’t know, spam is unsolicited email sent for commercial gain. Here is an example.
Report Hair Loss Product Scams
Subj: Saini herb
Hi, Just would like to add Saini herb on your scam list. I actually don’t know if the product works, but I ordered a two month supply and only received one small bottle. When I questioned this they said that they had an automated process for dispatching orders and couldn’t refund my money. I am from New Zealand so that turned out to be a waste of 200NZD. Please warn other users of this company Thanks,
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