Called an ‘ongoing problem’ by the European Consumer Centre Ireland (ECC), consumers purchasing items online are being cautioned concerning ‘free trial’ scams, which have increased in prevalence by 89% since 2013.
The scam proceeds as follows: consumers (usually purchasing skincare or dietary supplements) are offered with a ‘free trial’ prior to purchasing a product and are then charged substantial amounts of money. Most of the scammers include something that binds the customer to these charges in the ‘small print’ or terms and conditions, and so many customers can and have been duped out of thousands of Euros.
EEC Ireland strongly suggests that consumers conduct thorough research of companies prior to signing up for any form of trial or offer. A simple search on sites such as Google or Bing will provide links to fraud watching websites whose entire job is to uncover disreputable companies and make that information known and easily accessible. But most importantly? Read the small print and terms of conditions before making a decision.
If you need more help or advice, contact ECC Ireland on 01 879 7620 or the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on 1890 432 432