Beware of the latest scams by using a lame “Free CBD Trial” offer to rip people off
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released a statement warning consumers to watch out for shady companies that use free CBD as bait to lure unwary buyers into a scam.
In the past few months, the BBB Scam Tracker website has received dozens of complaints from people who encountered expensive monthly fees after signing up to receive free CBD. These scammers are captivating their victims with online ads offering free samples of CBD oil to anyone willing to pay a few dollars for shipping and handling.
To pay this supposed shipping fee, consumers must enter their credit card information, which they set up for the next phase of the scam. A few weeks after submitting the initial shipping costs, these seedy sites charge customers a monthly subscription fee of between $ 80 and $ 100 per month. And to rub even more salt into the wound, most victims said they had never received their free CBD sample.
“You didn’t find out until 3 weeks later that you signed up for a subscription and you were being billed $ 99,” an anonymous victim told Scam Tracker. “You will not refund your money. They said you had 14 days to cancel (if you call them to complain) but there is no description for this on the website. “
To cancel this unwanted subscription, consumers have to call the scammers who use various excuses to avoid refunds. Some fraud victims were told they had missed their opportunity to cancel, while others were told that the cancellation process could not be completed due to a computer problem. In other cases, victims were told that their subscription was successfully canceled, but the company continued to charge them anyway.
Many of these scam websites also use fake celebrities to advertise their goods, a tactic that is now widely used in the CBD industry. Shady companies have been faked endorsed by Tom Hanks, Dr. Oz and David Attenborough caught, and Clint Eastwood recently sued 20 CBD companies for using its likeness and fake quotes to promote their products. In some of the new BBB reports, victims said the companies claimed their products were recommended by noted ministers Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen.
The BBB offers a number of tips to help you avoid free trial scams. The agency advises consumers to do a thorough research of any company that claims to offer free products. There are dozen of online websites dedicated to outing scam businesses including BBB’s own website. So a simple Google search can often determine whether a business is legitimate or not. Consumers are also advised to read the full list of terms and conditions before handing over their money.
Individuals who have already fallen victim to one of these scams are advised to contact their credit card company or payment processor. Banks and credit card companies can prevent fraudsters from collecting unwanted monthly fees, and many offer fraud protection programs that reimburse fraud losses.