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SCARS™ Scam Basics: Trial Subscription Scams
Scam Alert: How to Recognize and Avoid a Subscription Trap
You’re reviewing your bank or credit card statement when you stumble upon a charge that you can’t recall. The description doesn’t help either. The following month, the same charge appears, and again the next month. You may have fallen into a subscription trap.
Subscription Traps Entice Consumers To Sign Up For A Free Trial To Access A Limited Time Offer, Or An Online Service, A Publication, Etc.
You might see them in advertisements on social media, sponsored news articles, or pop-up surveys on websites. The companies may offer a variety of goods like health or beauty products.
Dishonest companies may sign you up for a monthly subscription without your knowledge. They may hide the link to the terms and conditions or pre-check sign-up or acceptance boxes. Others resort to strict cancellation clauses that make it difficult to stop delivery and billing.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL:
- Research the company. See what other people are saying about the company’s free trial. Many complaints from other customers might be a warning that it’s a subscription trap.
- Read the terms and conditions. Look for information about how to cancel an order or return a product, time limits, or charges for more products. If you can’t find or understand the terms, don’t sign up.
- Check if the signup form has pre-checked boxes. These may sign you up for unwanted products and charges. If you see them bail out!
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL:
- Know when the trial offer ends: Mark the date so you know when to cancel to avoid unwanted charges.
- Read your credit card statements and look for unauthorized charges.
- If you have difficulty canceling your subscription, you can contact your credit card provider, your local consumer protection organization, or your local law enforcement agency for help.
Many times your financial institution will not be able or not willing to provide significant help to stop a specific charge. In these cases the most effective solution is to report the charge as FRAUD to your financial institution and change your card number – if it is an ACH that comes directly out of your checking account ask you bank to change the account number – just remember that important payments or deposits could be linked to this. If you change numbers remember to notify your business or government entities for the new numbers immediately to avoid interruption of important services.
Remember that YOU are responsible for the charges that appear in your account and active review is essential to avoid fraud!
TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Credit Card Fraud, Trial Subscriptions, Financial Fraud, Financial Abuse, Fake Trial Offers
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
- Your National Police or FBI « www.IC3.gov »
- The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on « www.Anyscam.com »
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
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To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »
Please be sure to report all scammers
on « www.Anyscam.com »
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