Why your 'free' sample could cost you £90... Trading Standards warning over scam

Falmouth Packet: Why your 'free' sample could cost you £90... Trading Standards warning over scam Why your 'free' sample could cost you £90... Trading Standards warning over scam

A series of complaints has led to Cornwall Council Trading Standards warning internet shoppers to be careful when responding to “pop-up” or other special offers when on the internet.

Complaints received show that customers who have responded to the offer of a free sample of face cream for “only £4.95” to cover postage and packing, to be paid by credit or debit card, have later been hit with charges of up to £90 drawn directly from their bank account.

When charges have been questioned, the traders state that their terms and conditions detail the free sample must be returned within 14 days or a monthly subscription kicks in.

The company looks as though it operates from Scotland; however the originator is based in the USA.

Julia Groves, Cornwall Trading Standards authorised officer, said: “We are encouraging anyone who has responded to such offers for products, including face cream and slimming tablets, to report the matter to the Citizens Advice Consumer Centre on 08454 04 05 06 and Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040 or by visiting their website at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

“We are reiterating to consumers not only at Christmas time but at all times of the year, not to respond to offers which seem too good to be true as invariably they are.

“Experience tells us that victims of these sorts of scams face a great deal of time spent on recovering their money through the card provider. At the very least you should carefully read any terms and conditions and know the physical whereabouts of any traders that you deal with.”

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