ORLANDO, Fla. — If you’re making a New Year’s resolution this year, Florida’s attorney general wants you to make sure you don’t fall for any scams targeting resolution makers.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said that since many resolutions are shared by many, fraudsters can easily predict targets to rip off, ruining resolutions before they even begin. Moody advises Floridians to be alert when purchasing memberships, products or services to help achieve common resolutions.
“The beginning of a new year is a popular time to set goals, but do your research before signing up for memberships or purchasing products to help you succeed,” Moody said in a statement. “Scammers may try to exploit the situation to sell unproven products or just flat-out steal your personal or financial information.”
Here are some tips from Moody’s office to avoid scams related to popular goals:
• Many people purchase a gym membership to begin the new year, but be sure to take proper precautions when signing any contract. To access the Better Business Bureau’s Joining a Gym Guide, click here.
• An estimated 45 million Americans begin a diet every year and bogus diet products and programs rank number one at the top of all health care scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission. To access more information about weight-loss scams from the AARP, click here.
• Fitness enthusiasts may also invest in gym equipment to help achieve their resolution of becoming healthier. For information on how to avoid home gym scams, click here.
• Organization apps can help simplify life and have become more popular in the app store. As a result, online stores contain apps that may not be as advertised. To access the “Warning Flags to Help You Find Fraudulent Apps” guide released by AARP, click here.
• Picking up a new skill or hobby is a great self-challenge, but investing in a new activity can be risky. Scammers may release phishing websites — mimicking legitimate websites — about popular hobbies or products associated with the activity to obtain personal and financial information from consumers. Click here to view Attorney General Moody’s consumer alert on phishing websites.
• Staying financially secure is a great goal to have, but make sure proper precautions are taken to protect financial information. Forbes Advisor has released a list of common banking scams to be aware of. To access the list, click here.
• Investing is a common way for consumers to increase financial gains. The FTC has issued a guide for consumers to invest correctly and report investment scams. To access the guide, click here.
To report a New Year’s resolution scam, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1-866-9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
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