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Free trial offers will also be scammed

Source: admin Release Time: 03:32:58 2019-02-13

Have you ever signed up for a product free trial, only to find yourself locked into some sort of payment program you didn’t bargain for? If so, you’re not alone. And while you might be able to spot some of the easier tricks, other schemes may not be so obvious because the scammers simply lied about the deal.

And, just to make things worse, some of the tricks are perfectly legal because the conditions under which victims end up having to pay often are hidden in small print.

The growth in low cost or free trial scams has prompted several consumer organizations to issue new warnings.

Many promoters of free trial programs ask consumers to provide their credit card or bank account details, sometimes claiming they need the numbers for security purposes, or to cover supposed shipping and handling costs.

In the process, the consumer may not realize they’re also actually signing up for an automatic subscription or supply.

The onus is on the consumer to cancel or opt-out before the trial period is up. Sometimes, that’s not easy to do, and the subsequent costs may be considerably higher than the shopper thought.

“Some dishonest businesses make it tough to cancel,” says the US Federal Trade Commission, “hiding the terms and conditions of their offers in teensy type, using pre-checked sign-up boxes as the default setting online, and putting conditions on returns and cancellations that are so strict it could be next to impossible to stop the deliveries and the billing.”

In fact, in some instances, victims discover they’ve signed up for a whole range of products or services, way beyond those that were originally part of the “free trial.”

For instance, you may sign up for a free product, a CD for example, not realizing that you’re actually joining a “club” that will now bombard you with more CDs, DVDs, books, magazines and so on — while deducting the cost from the account info you provided.

Most of these so-called free trials pop up either online or in TV infomercials. As we said, some of them may be perfectly legal — but that doesn’t guarantee you won’t be out of pocket at the end of it.

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