Free Trial CBD Scams are on the rise. Beware.
If you see an offer for a “FREE Sample” of a CBD product, beware. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), these offers are being used as covers for shady subscription sales.
The warning came after the BBB received “dozens of reports from frustrated consumers who thought they signed up for a free trial offer but ended up getting billed for hundreds of dollars.”
The “Free trial” offer was used as “bait” to get people to give their financial information, which was later used to bill them for products they never intended to order or receive.
The bait and switch offer gathers a shopper’s credit card information under the guise of them paying a small fee to ship the product. According to the BBB, the initial order becomes an ongoing subscription which can be hard to cancel.
In March of 2021, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took action against these scams, finalizing a $20,000 fine against a CBD product vendor called Bionatrol Health and Isle Revive (a company operating out of Pleasant Grove, Utah).
In addiction to the fine, the penalty issued accusations that the company had misled their customers with deceptive pricing techniques. The customers would click on an ad that said, “Get My Free Bottle!” and were then tricked into buying as many as five bottles of CBD when the subscription kicked in.
The BBB website blog offers a list of helpful tips for avoiding these Free Trial CBD Scams…
- Research the company online. See what other people are saying about the company’s free trials. Complaints from other customers can tip you off to “catches” that might come with the trial. Check the business’s BBB Rating and see if there are any alerts.
- Understand what happens after the free trial ends. Always read the terms of the offer before signing up. Numerous victims of the CBD free trial con reported not ever seeing the terms and conditions. This is a huge red flag. If you can’t find them or can’t understand what you’re agreeing to, don’t sign up.
- Be skeptical of celebrity endorsements. Resist being swayed by the use of a well-known name. Scammers often fake celebrity endorsements.
- Report losses to credit card companies. If you pay with a credit card, you can dispute fraudulent charges. Keep an eye on your monthly statements and notify your credit card company of any suspicious charges.
This CBD industry news update is brought to you by CBD Manufacturer, Spring Creek Labs.