Friday, March 16, 2007
This is an Off The Cuff scam alert. Have you noticed those ads that promote the free Xbox, free Rachel Ray items, free computers (laptop, desktop), free anything that you do not have to pay for if only you will accept one of these offers? I have seen them on Iwon and several other pages. Also, I have received emails on these same things. The whole idea is that you are going to get something expensive for free if only you will qualify by accepting small offers of items you will not really want in the first place.
As you accept or deny each page of offers, there are more to choose from. You go through pages and pages of offers. At some point in each category, you must select one offer from this page, two offers from that page. Some pages have only offers for signing up for credit cards. Others have equally stupid offers that, if you sign up for them, you will be finding too many things in your mailbox that you had no idea where it came from.
By this time, you begin wondering if this will ever end. They tell you that you have ALMOST qualified and that you only have this much more to do. Each time it says that, you are expected to accept one or more offers. From what I have seen, there may be an end and people might be satisfied to do all that to get the FREE item, which, if you are paying attention, really isn't free at all. At the point I stopped and had accepted three offers, more than they told me I had to in the first place, I was still apparently 2 offers short of my FREE item. Can you see how much more money this is going to cost?? I, frankly, do not know how I got wrapped up in this stuff. But I have learned. I hope that you do before it costs you anything.
Frankly, I have no idea how far this goes since I could never get farther than the offers you have to take. I will not accept a credit card so I didn't get any farther. At one point, I did take a couple of offers that only cost a couple of bucks each. Some offers say they are free and all you have to pay is shipping which will be a small sum considering the item they are sending you.
Now comes the rub. If you pay by credit card or debit card, which is the only way they take these small payments, then the card number is open for them to use it as they will. People have learned this when the so-called company tells you something is a trial period and that you have X number of days to respond. Likely, the time is too short to do anything about it. In none of the pages you read about the product does it say that you will be billed a larger amount.
People are now learning that when they sign up for the smaller amount, as their bank statements come in, they find themselves being billed for much, much larger sums of money. For example, these items we have researched so far are:
Online Supplier-this place is listed in the frauds page. They send you a CD or book about "how to sell on Ebay". You are charged a very small fee for shipping...$1.95-$1.99. Remember, you were trying to qualify for a much larger, FREE item. At that point, it is likely that you believe you are finished especially if you do nothing more. However, on the bank statement you will find a $49.95 charge. It will have a long number such as 8009309932ONLINESU01 of 800-9309932 CA. You have no idea what the notation is. You will have no idea what the charge is for. We looked this up on one of the frauds pages and discovered that people try to call the 800 number only to find out that there will be a one hour "on hold" and they never get to talk to a human. Others have tried to email them and receive no response. BEWARE!! THIS IS A SCAM!!
Triclear-This is under beauty products. It is supposedly a FREE trial offer. It costs only the shipping according to the information page. The shipping charge is about $5.95-$6.95. You are told to try it out and if you are not satisfied you can cancel. Regardless of your actions, on your statement you will find a charge for the shipping the original package and then a charge of anywhere from $49.95-$69.95, which is supposed to be your next monthly installment since they are supposedly sending out another box of product for the second month. It is vital that you cancel this item before it reaches that stage. Unfortunately, most people who have signed up for this did not cancel the first part. Possibly they forgot about it since it was a FREE TRIAL OFFER and nothing else was sent out to the consumer. BEWARE. This is A SCAM!!!
Video Professor-This one requires only the $6.95 shipping charge. You can check out the item when you receive it and order others like it for a fee. At no time, are you told that it IS a trial period until you get the item in the mail. Items are CDs for learning how to write html or something else that you might not know about on a computer. The page looks like an online school of some sort. These are all learning CDs of one kind or another.
However, when you receive the item, you find in TINY print, that they are going to charge you $79.95 after the TRIAL period is over. This one we were involved in ourselves. I called the company. They were nice but wanting me to keep the item. I told them I did not want it and expected them to allow my returning it. It required a " return authorization number". If you do not get that, they will still charge you for $79.95. We returned the package with delivery confirmation. We received the card back and have not been charged the $79.95 to date. BUT, others have not received the item and have been charged $79.95 as well as a couple of charges for $5.95 (unknown) and a couple for $1.00 (unknown). What we have received though is a couple of $1.00 charges that are unknown since we cancelled all business with these people. That puts them into a fraud category unless they are willing to credit these charges back to us. We are still waiting on that. BEWARE!
In each of these cases, the people at the other end are hoping that you do not act on cancelling within a time period, whether you know what that is or not. They expect INACTION . Do not ignore these so-called FREE offers if you should get them. They will lead to unnecessary and unknown charges on your statement.
These and all others that you find must be reported to your local bank and authorities. Hopefully, they will be able to help you. If not, then take it to your attorney general in your state. If you do not do this, others will be scammed too and those who are doing this will reap much money. Then, they will switch to another product or sales pitch. In any case, these are scams and must be reported.
If you have others that you would like to include, please go to my comments section and send them to me. People will be able to access the comments section and be warned like I am warning you.