Consumerline: Consumer advice, information, consumer rights, consumer legislation, consumer education and help on customer care from the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland – Newsroom – Scam Alert

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Consumers have reported to Trading Standards they have been led to believe that, when purchasing their free sample online, they were paying only for its postage and packaging. However, they had in fact signed up to a £69 per month regular supply of the product.

Trading Standards discovered that full details of what consumers were signing up to were hidden within the detailed terms and conditions. It only came to light that consumers had committed to buying a regular supply, when they received a second delivery of the product and £69 was deducted from their bank accounts.

Stephen Thompson, Manager of Domain Scams, said: “Consumers should ensure that, when providing bank details for online offers, they always read the terms and conditions carefully to know exactly what they are signing up to. Miracle health scams often target vulnerable people, such as those who are desperate to lose weight or find a cure for illness.”

In addition to the financial issues, Stephen also highlighted the potential health risks.

He said: “Slimming aids can be very expensive and, for some of the products on sale, there is little scientific evidence that using them will result in successful weight loss – indeed, consumers could even be potentially putting their health at risk.

“Research into slimming aids has shown that some products on the market are worthless and even dangerous, containing untested and potentially harmful ingredients. Consumers should always seek professional advice from their doctor or pharmacist before purchasing slimming or other health products.”

Consumers who have concerns about such products should contact Domain Scams on 0845 600 6262 or 028 9025 3900 or alternatively log onto the Domain Scams website at www.domainscams.co.uk