Amazing pills that will make me look younger and lose weight? And it comes as a free trial, you say? Of course I’ll try it! Here’s my credit card number. What could possibly go wrong?
Well…a lot. That “free” trial of resveratrol suddenly turns into a recurring charge of $80 or more on customers’ credit card bills. The free trial is 19 days, All this is explained, of course: in the fine print, on a separate page that most customers, blinded by the word “free,” ignore. Arnold Diaz of New York’s Fox 5 spoke to some victims of this particular scheme.
This scheme is remarkably similar to its cousins the “free” credit report and the acai berry free trial. On their sites and on ad banners, resveratrol peddlers often claim that their products were endorsed by Dr. Mehmet Oz, health adviser to Oprah Winfrey’s audience. Concerned that consumers are being lured in to buy a product with questionable benefits and even more questionable billing practices using his image, Dr. Oz, along with Oprah’s Harpo Productions, are suing many of the peddlers of resveratrol. You can read the suit here as a PDF download. The collection of screen shots is particularly dismaying.
In addition to using Dr. Oz’s image, FOX 5 says resveratrol sellers also set up fake clinical study web sites (with a disclaimer that says the study is “fictional” at the bottom) and fake news report web sites. Ironically, when commercial news sites publish their stories about these schemes online, guess whose ads come up alongside them?
Meanwhile, we’ll stick to getting our resveratrol the old-fashioned way.
Free Trial Scam [Fox 5]
Easy Weight Loss And Free Cash: A Dubious Product Online Marketing Empire Revealed
Free Trials Can Be Trojan Horses For Sketchy Companies
This Is Why You Don’t Order From Fad Diet & Wellness Sites
Careful, Those Free Acai Products Might Come Attached To A Delicious Scam