The internet runs rampant with ads and links containing celebrity photos and “miracle” products that promise easy weight loss, whiter teeth or disappearing wrinkles. You may be enticed to try these products through a “risk-free” trial: Just enter your name, address and credit card number, and the product will be on its way for only a small shipping and handling charge. But don’t be fooled!
Research the company. See if there have been any other complaints or reviews for the company or website. You can learn a lot from other consumers’ online reviews. You can always search BBB.org to see if a company is trustworthy or not.
Watch for pre-checked boxes. If the boxes are already checked for you, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t want to check that box on your own. Beware of pre-checked boxes agreeing to a contract, future shipments, membership fees or cancellation policy information.
Read the terms and conditions. If you can’t find any terms and conditions, that is a red flag. You should know what you are agreeing to before you submit an order.
Don’t trust celebrity endorsements. Just because the company or advertisement claims they are endorsed by a celebrity doesn’t mean they actually are. Refer to the celebrities’ official social media pages or website to make sure they actually endorse the product.
Locate contact information. Make sure you know where the company is located and how to contact them if you have an issue with your purchase. Be weary of companies who only offer form pages and not an email address or phone number for customer service.
- Contact the company directly if possible.
- Call the customer service number on the back of your credit card.
- Submit a complaint to BBB.org
- Report the fraud to BBB.org/ScamTracker
- Report it to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call 877-FTC-Help
- Report it to Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3
- Report suspicious, confusing or misleading ads to BBB Ad Truth.
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