Cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient of cannabis, is now legal in many US states and Canadian provinces. If you want to try it, watch out for scams. BBB Scam Tracker received dozens of reports from frustrated consumers who thought they bought discounted CBD online but ended up with hundreds of dollars in credit card charges.
How this scam works
You see an ad for CBD on social media or in an online search. A company is offering new customers a significant discount on CBD gummies. For example, one common scam offers a buy-one-get-one free deal. In some cases, the product seems to be endorsed by a celebrity. For example, recent Scam Tracker reports mention TV show Shark Tank, actor Kevin Costner, actress Mayim Bialik, and journalist Katie Couric.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, if you order the discounted gummies, the scammers now have your credit card number. Victims report being charged for extra bottles or on-going monthly subscriptions that they never agreed to. Other victims report being charged random amounts for products they never received.
Once scammers have your credit card information, cancelling is not easy! Consumers report that scammers used numerous excuses to avoid issuing refunds. They claimed everything from trouble with the computer system to it being outside the cancellation window. Many victims also told Scam Tracker that the charges continued even after they cancelled their subscription.
See the full article for victim reports.
How to spot these 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.
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.