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  • 5 “Free Trial” Internet Scams To Avoid Like The Plague

    You see them advertised all over the web: “free trial of __Insert Too-Good-To-Be-True Product Here___. Just pay $3.95 shipping!” The offer seems tempting. After all, who wouldn’t want whiter teeth and a wonderful waistline for just $3.95? And if you don’t like it, you’re only out the $3.95, right? WRONG!!

    The truth is, most of these promotions you see around the web are scams set up to deceive vulnerable people who may not know what they are getting into.

    Here’s how the scam works: First, a company looks to create a product based on the current craze (acai berry, colon cleanse, pomegranate juice, etc.). Once the that company decided on a product they think will sell, they look for a manufacturing company/disributor to sell them the original product and package it for them. This is usually very cheap to do.

    Once the product is set, the company creates a website with unsubstantiated and ill-researched claims about how that product will change your life forever. They put up fake testimonials and the works. They entice people to try now with a very tempting offer, a “risk free” trial for 15 days. Just pay shipping.

    But here’s the catch, somewhere buried in the site are the true terms and conditions. And they probably say something along the lines of how your free trial starts when you place the order, not when you get the product. They also say that it’s an opt-out trial and you will be billed for your next shipment unless you cancel within 15 days. How much will you be billed? It typically ranges from $75-$175 PER MONTH (For a product that 9-10 times doesn’t really work).

    Here’s the kicker. Even if you wanted to cancel, many of these scammers make it impossible for you to do so. The cancellation lines are forever busy. You can never get ahold of someone to cancel your product. But you will still be billed month often month. Many people have to cancel their credit cards.

    The companies creating these fake products are making millions of dollars doing this. After all, the original product only costs them a few bucks, if that. More likely a few pennies.

    Here are the top 5 “free trial” scams to watch out for:

    1. Acai Berry – Here’s what’s true about Acai Berry: it’s a powerful antioxidant. Here’s what’s not true: It will make you lose weight, clean your colon, clear your acne, extend your life, improve your memory, fire up your sex-drive, and a slew of other claims. Scammers use the “hype” of this berry to make outlandish claims about it’s abilities. None of them have been researched or proven. And the testimonials are almost always fake, or a result of a placebo effect.

    Pretty much any “free trial” of acai berry weight loss pills is a scam. If you want to try Acai Berry, go to your vitamin shop and buy a bottle of acai berry supplement. Don’t fall for the “free trial” trap. And especially don’t fall for any misleading claims about being associated to Oprah. Those claims are false and meant to take advantage of you.

    2. Colon Cleanse Products – Like Acai Berry, there are many false and misleading claims out there about the benefits of cleansing your colon. Now I’m not doctor, but it seems to me that there are no real benefits to this, and on top of that, these products don’t really cleanse your colon at all. In fact the stuff that comes out of you that looks like “colon sludge” is really just a byproduct of the pill you take. And it will not cause you to lose “inches of your waist.”

    Whatever the science is, don’t trust any free trial offer you see related to colon cleansers.

    3. Pretty much all free trials of weightless products – Noticing a trend here? Scammers prey on ares of people’s self-consious. They know there is a big emotional target there and it will be much easier to get you. But the truth is that you really need to read the terms of ANY weight loss free trial you are thinking about. And if you can’t find the terms, it’s for sure a scam. So just be weary of any free trials for pills promising supermodel looks.

    4. Teeth Whitening Products– Like their weight, people are concerned about their appearance. Unlike the weight loss products, some of these may actually work (i don’t know for sure, but ask your dentists). But just because a product works doesn’t mean it’s worth $100 a month. So be sure to check the terms of any teeth whitening products so you don’t get scammed.

    5. Skin/ Acne Cream – Yup, another beauty product! These people really know what’s important! Like the teeth whitening, some of these products may work better than the weight loss products, but many are likely scams. But don’t get sucked in to any free trial offers for skin cream just because you think it may work. Check the terms and conditions and see what they will bill you and what their cancellation policy is.

    As with all of these products, do a search on the company name BEFORE your order a free trial sample. Many of these companies have pages and pages of negative reports on them. If you have any doubts, just don’t order it. And don’t trust sites just because they look nice or have “testimonials.”

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