Letter to the editor 4, Dec. 1, 2016
Internet scam warning
I am a senior who lives in Hudson and I’d like to share what happened to me and think it could be a warning for others. Beware of “free trial scam.” Lately there are different banners that come up while you surf the internet. They start nicely to ask you to participate in a survey, promise you free product trials under names and logos that look like Costco, Videotron, or your bank, all you have to do send $5 for shipping and you get a trial order for some skin cream, or weight-loss capsules , or super vitamins.
Just for fun I thought I will order some skin products trials for the lady in my life, expecting to get some trial sizes of such products. I filled out the order form and gave my credit card to pay for the $ 5 shipping fee. When I checked my credit card statement, I noticed that the payment went to some outfit in Cyprus, this made me already quite suspicious.
I went back to the offer on the internet and at the bottom of the page, in small and faded print, I clicked on ‘Terms and Conditions.’ Up came a 9-page legal-looking document that says if you keep the ‘Trial Products’ they will bill you for approximately $180 after a month. Plus you are now enrolled in a ‘Club’ and will be shipped every month an order of this product and billed again for $180 on your credit card. When reading that contract – which must have been written by some “artist“(shyster) in Cyprus – it is incredible how much this company has to put conditions on unsuspecting people just to peddle some skin cream.
I would like to warn anyone who is tempted to take advantage of this “offer” to stay away from it. I don’t know if these companies are aware that their names are being used to entrap people into buying their ware.
The contract mentioned that the products can be returned within 30 days and they will credit the charge less a restocking fee of $1.95. One really has to read that paper thoroughly to find out how you’ve just been had.
After a bit more research I found out this is a well-known credit card fraud scam by criminals who are selling some worthless products through a phony company that often hides in some Caribbean hole where there are no laws, while the owners and operators live in a mansion in Florida.