Many of you, me too, get emails about scams. Is a scammer committing fraud? I’m learning a hard lesson because I’ve been duped. There is surprisingly little help for my situation, though fraud is definitely at work here. To me, most scammers are so obvious, I’d never fall victim to their tricks.
Here is what happened to me.
While on my email, a side bar had an ad for a wrinkle cream, recommended by Dr. Oz, a famous television personality. I don’t watch his show, but I know of him. His picture was on the video ad showing the testimonials and visible changes from users that showed quite credible results. Trial order, free, just pay shipping and handling of $8.99. I decide to try it knowing that shipping and handling cover the cost of the cream. Legitimate companies do this because they believe in their product and figure if you like it you will buy it again.
I fill out the order form and enter my credit card info and instantly a new screen pops up and reads people who buy our skin cream also like our eye cream. Do you want to try it? I check the NO button and I’m not even sure it registered before the screen disappears and I’m left with nothing. No tracking number, no confirmation that I bought anything. Nor the name of the company. Gone. I go back to look for the ad, and can’t find it. I think, oh well, some glitch, I’ll probably not get anything.
Both creams arrive and I decide to pay for the eye cream and not worry about it since I don’t know the name of the company to send it back to. The creams are each under an ounce and are made by Aurora, not the company I ordered from.
I’ve had eye cream, that came in a squat jar and, without reading the labels, I used the spray bottle, as face cream instead of eye cream. It peeled the skin off my face, like any acid peel. My God, had I used it on my eyes….I’d be in a serious lawsuit. My skin product of choice is Thymes Lavendar skin lotion for my face. It is a wonderful product. I can no longer get it locally which is why I decided to try this online cream.
Then, I get my Mastercard bill.
Never in my life would I pay $89.71 cents for less than an ounce of skin cream. Thymes is about $20 for 8.75 ounces. I use Aloe Vera Crystal Clear Gel at night, $13 for 20 ounces. It is a healing lotion and makes my skin feel like silk. I buy it in Oregon. At one time I could buy it at Longs Drug store. I’m sure I could find it in California if I looked hard enough.
I have prepaid Legal Shield. My attorney explains the company is guilty of fraud for using Dr. Oz’s name. That is HIS issue, not mine. They will send a collection letter to them on my behalf.
Barclay Master Card resolution team says, once I agreed to the purchase and gave them my credit card number, it is my responsibility to pay, but they will try to get them to reverse the charges. Not very promising.
I called the number from my bill and they refuse to give me the name of the company that is listed as THM and THA. When I looked up THM and THA, I got the name of the company Excipial, but it is a dead end. The Customer Service rep did give me an address in Santa Ana. I spent over two hours on the phone while Sallie argued with me, offering me 15% off, then 35% off, then 50% off then 100% off. They said they’d send a confirmation number for the 100% money back. It didn’t show up. They basically waited until I got tired.
The bank knows about this outfit and said, what you are required to do is click on their conditions and read that you’ve agreed to receive a product every month from them and you pay for it in advance unless you tell them not to. That is the $89.77. And, they informed me that Dr. Oz repeatedly states he does not recommend any products. I had no chance to tell them anything or read their conditions online. I wish someone had warned me, so I’m warning you.
Even though I never had a chance to press that button, the burden of proof is on me. Fraud is difficult to prove without a witness or some paper proof.
I went on-line and found CFTC SmartCheck. It is a site worth checking when you don’t know exactly who you are dealing with. I believe it is a free service.
And, I will report them to the California State Attorney General since they operate out of Santa Ana, California. And, I’m going to look into Elder Financial Abuse, and see what they can do. After all, I’m senior and I’ve been taken advantage of. You can bet I’m going to cancel my Mastercard from Barclay. I’m going to ask them why they don’t print out known scams to their customers. They knew all about it and told me that Dr. Oz does not recommend products. Color me mad but wiser now.