Scammers are coming up with more and more ways to trick people out of their hard-earned money. That's why it's so important to stay up-to-date on the latest scams so you can spot the warning signs and avoid becoming a victim. According to a report from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), one recent scam to watch out for is the deceptive or misleading “free trial scam."
In these schemes, consumers sign up for what they think is a risk-free trial of a product, often after seeing an enticing advertisement online or on social media. These offers seem like a good deal: the consumer simply provides their credit card information to cover a small shipping and handling fee for the free product. But in reality, the “free trial" is anything but free. By accepting the terms and conditions of the company's trial offer, the consumer has unknowingly signed up for a recurring monthly subscription service that leaves them with surprise charges on their credit card. Many times, consumers find it difficult to cancel the subscription and few receive a refund from the company.
Free trial schemes are a growing global problem. The BBB found that over the last ten years, losses from this type of scam totaled more than $1.3 billion. On average, consumers reported losing $186 from misleading free trial scams. While there are many legitimate companies that offer trial periods for their products or services, the difference is these companies clearly state their terms and conditions, and make it easy to cancel the service.
If you're wondering what you can you do to avoid the high costs of a fake free trial scam, we have a few tips to help:
How to avoid free trial scams
What to do if you think you're a victim of a free trial scam:
Not every free trial offer is a scam, but it's better to be safe than sorry. By doing your research and exercising caution before giving out your credit card information, you can stay safe and protect your money from fraud.
Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help you protect yourself from fraud. Please
contact us with any questions or concerns. For more helpful information on preventing fraud, visit our
Fraud Education and Awareness page.