Internet scams are a very real problem and according to some reports, 20 per cent of the Australian population were affected by cybercrime in 2011. This is quite a damning statistic and provides a useful wake up call to internet users who presume that scams only happen to ‘other people’.
YOURLifeChoices subscriber Jan was recently the victim of an internet scam and she wants to share her story so that others can learn from it. Unfortunately, Jan saw an ad for ‘wrinkle banishing face cream’ on a sidebar of one of our articles back in December. This ad wasn’t endorsed by YOURLifeChoices but it appeared as a ‘Google Ad’. While this would seem credible because it appears to be endorsed by Google, this is not always the case. When you consider the volume of ads submitted to Google, it isn’t surprising that the occasional scam slips through the cracks. Google advertising appears on most websites, in return for commission payments
The actual scam Jan of which was a victim, involved providing credit card details for some ‘free samples’. After receiving the initial samples, Jan started to receive new parcels in each of the next three months despite only ever requesting the samples. But because the company had her credit card details, it continued to charge her for these monthly packages. After receiving the first of the monthly packages, Jan tried contacting the company to ask why it was still sending products but due to a ambiguous contact details, she was unable to stop the deliveries. After having to cancel her credit card, Jan eventually managed to track down the company via an off-shore call centre and was able to stop the deliveries. The company has since emailed Jan to confirm that the deliveries will end and she will receive 50 per cent of her money back. She’s not holding her breath for the refund as it is yet to be paid.
The name of the company is ‘Revitalize Health and Beauty’ and a quick Google search of this name reveals a long list of consumer complaints. Jan has reported her story to the authorities and the YOURLifeChoices team has blocked the company’s ads from appearing on our site, as well as reporting the issue to Google.
This story is yet another warning of the dangers of internet scamming. It’s worth revisiting our Top five tips for staying safe online to limit the risk of you falling victim to a scam like this.
Have you been the victim of an internet scam? Do you have any tips on how to avoid them?