You may have never seen a Facebook scam this tempting. It's for beauty supplies that seemingly transform a woman with wrinkly skin into a smooth-skinned beauty.
The ad says you just need to pay $4.95 for shipping for a FREE trial of an anti-wrinkle cream. The ad, which features a young woman, uses a high-quality photograph and professional-looking graphics and text.
The problem is it's a scam that cost one woman $1,300 that she didn't have! You can't blame her for falling for this scam. Who knows how many other people are falling victim to this?
The brand Brio is real and so is their website. The problem is that their scam tricks you into spending a lot more money than you signed up for. It's called negative option billing. The Federal Trade Commission has shut down company sites for this billing scam.
In this case, Brio buries the terms of the deal in the fine-print. Here's what it says in part: You must cancel your trial before the expiration of the 14-day trial period in order to avoid automatic enrollment in an evergreen subscription.
That subscription means you'll receive more skincare products, even when you don't request them. Those products are paid from the same card you used to pay the initial $4.95.
To protect yourself: Avoid clicking on tempting ads on Facebook and other social media sites. But, if you do want to click on the ad, first search online for the company.
Call its 800 phone number, if it has one. Ask them how the free- or low-cost trial works. Then, make sure you read the fine-print. That's a hassle, but these criminals are counting on you to not read the fine-print. So, do it!
Photo courtesy of Consumerist.