PROMO 660 x 440 Tips - Scam Alert Caution Sign - iStock

Ozempic scams increase with weight loss drug’s popularity

Edwin J. Viera

Click play to listen to this article.

Audio file

(Connecticut New Service) High-demand products are usually big targets for scammers, and weight-loss drug Ozempic is no exception. 

Scams across the U.S. are being reported with promises of quick access to the drug. The scam offers people searching online for Ozempic a significantly lower price than at a pharmacy. Ads, websites, and social media posts are offering it without a prescription. All people have to do is pay with a digital wallet app, such as CashApp or Zelle. 

Kristen Johnson, Better Business Bureau of Connecticut communications director, said these are all red flags that it's a scam. But given the lengths scammers are going to, they can be a bit harder to recognize.

PROMO Health - Medicine Drugs Pills Money Perscription Bottle - iStock - RonOrmanJr

© iStock - RonOrmanJr

"One consumer reported actually having a tele-consult with a supposed doctor. And this just sort of legitimized the process, made it seem like it was a real pharmaceutical company. But after he placed the order, he never received the drug," Johnson explained.

She added when that consumer tried to call customer service, there were only automated responses, nothing more. Johnson noted this can prove detrimental to people, who could lose hundreds of dollars to these scams, and said anyone who has been scammed should report it to the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker immediately.

Other things people should be on the lookout for include counterfeit products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration finds fake Ozempic has shown up in the country's drug supply chain. 

Johnson added that scammers often strike when a person is most vulnerable.

"Someone in this position that has been looking, that has been trying everything, and nothing's worked for them in their weight-loss journey may be more susceptible to this type of scam," she continued.

Ozempic manufacturer Novo Nordisk announced shortages of the drug and could take years to catch up. For now, the limited supply is being given to people for whom the drug is already prescribed. 

Johnson worries scammers will use all that time to keep taking advantage of people looking for Ozempic.