Be aware of Scams – Subscription Traps

The Competition Bureau of Canada has published the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition and it is available online at The information is invaluable and should be of interest to virtually everyone.  Last week we published Fraud Fighting 101.  Today the topic is:

Subscription Traps

Good deals can bait you into falling for expensive traps!

A subscription trap can trick you by offering ‘free’ or ‘low-cost’ trials of products and services.  Products commonly offered are weight loss pills, health foods, pharmaceuticals and anti-ageing products.  Once you provide your credit card information to cover shipping costs you are unknowingly locked into a monthly subscription.  Delivery and billing can the be difficult, if not almost impossible, to stop.  Scammers use websites, emails, social media platforms and phones to reel people in.  Remember, high-pressure sales tactics like a ‘limited time offer’ are often used to rush you into making a decision.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • Trust your instincts. If it is too good to be true, don’t sign up.
  • Before you sign up for a free trial, research the company and read reviews, especially the negative ones. The Better Business Bureau is a great source of information.
  • Don’t sign up if you can’t find or understand the terms and conditions. Pay special attention to pre-checked boxes, cancellation clauses, return policies, and any vague charges.
  • If you go ahead with a free trail, keep all documents, receipts, emails, and text messages.
  • Regularly check your credit card statements for frequent or unknown charges.
  • If you have trouble cancelling your subscription, contact your credit card provider, your local consumer protection organization, or law enforcement agencies.

If you suspect a scam, always report it

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police, has plenty of information on fraud.  Power up today by visiting!

Additional organizations to contact depending on the situation:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre       1-888-495-8501  

Competition Bureau                  1-800-348-5358  

Consumer Affairs                                                

Securities Administrator                                                  

Ontario Provincial Police           1-888-310-1122

SOURCE – Wawa and Area Victim Services

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