Know what lies beneath product promises and offers

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Searching online for products to enhance your looks or health will yield tons of results — especially ads. As you look through those results, pay close attention to the product claims and sales offers. Some marketers mislead people about what their product does, who uses it, and how much it’ll cost you.

For instance, a group operating as Tarr, Inc. settled FTC allegations that it ran a deceptive internet marketing campaign to sell weight-loss, muscle-building and wrinkle-reducing products. The FTC says Tarr used phony news stories and magazine reports, phony celebrity endorsements and customer testimonials, false claims, and sham “free trials” to sell the products. People agreed to pay the shipping costs for the trials, but Tarr allegedly didn’t make it clear that it would charge consumers for the trials and automatically enroll them in a subscription program unless they cancelled within a couple of weeks. In all, consumers paid about $180 million over five years for products that the FTC claims Tarr sold through deceptive marketing.

Avoid getting scammed by deceptive product offers:

  • Read the fine print for a “low cost” or “free” trial offer. Look for terms such as enrollment in an ongoing subscription. This often means automatic debits or charges to your accounts. If you don’t understand the terms of the offer, don't sign up.
  • Watch for pre-checked boxes, which the company may claim gives it permission to keep billing you after the trial. Be sure to set a reminder of when the free trial period is over to avoid getting billed if you no longer want the product.
  • Learn how to spot phony news sites. These actually are elaborate ads created by marketers to look like news sites.
  • Be skeptical about products that promise miraculous results. And just because a celebrity or a believable-looking “customer” appears to be praising the product doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy.

 

Tell the FTC if you experience a deceptive product offer.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I ordered something called DermaBellis that was sapose to get rid of tags The cost for 3 bottles $120.00 and it ended up being Tea Tree Oil. You can hardly get your money back from these people. Needless to say I wasn't able to send the product back for a refund after finding out it was Tea Trea Oil due to it was pass my 30 days.

thanks Federal Trade commission FOR THE HEADS UP i agree with kellyN so many Scams out there, Like you said (FTC) Read the Find print or make them prove it Be Well Rest Well :)

If they say “free” but want you credit card number, chances are it’s a subscription deal.
Also be wary of “free” magazine subscriptions since after that free year expires, they’ll keep sending the magazines and will charge you for it.

Noted Thanks

Any deal that sounds goo good to be true is "fake so don't waste your money. I have been involved in too many of them and just wasted my money. Too many scams.

I was scammed by pump N dump scammers such as victor mills or so he said from penny pros for over $250.00 for euri. Then scammed by alex or so they said from from the street over $250.00 for XLIT. Then again over $450.00 for CLOW. IM MAD AS HELL IS THE FTC going to do anything about getting my money back ?

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Signed with Karma Royal Bali timeshare, finance with crown finance services s.l. Information given on signing up in May 2017 was incorrect upon using free week November 2017. We have been mislead with contact of receiving points to stay at resorts then maintenance fee advice please as we are going to bank to stop payments.

Is Greatway Financial offering IRP legitimate ?

Sears Home warranty, Sears said If I paid $39.99 a monthly and a $60.00 service call fee that they would repair or replace my appliance if I had a problem. I paid my monthly fee of $39.99 for 10 months I had a problem with my dishwasher. Sears repairman came out he did not repair or replace my dishwasher. 3 months later all I am getting is a run around

You could contact your state Attorney General and explain the situation.

You can also report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Excellent, do keep it up FDC

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