On a lot of websites I visit I see ads like “Mom discovers $5 wrinkle trick — see her trick”. These ads lead to sites such as ch8health.com which advertise “free trials” of cosmetic products called TruVisage and PurEssance using deceptive advertising:
- The trial is not free but costs $5.35, supposedly for shipping and handling.
- Unless the trial is cancelled within 20 days, a further $74.95 is charged for the first bottle, which you may or may not have received by then.
- After 30 days you will be billed another $80.30 ($74.95 + $5.35 shipping and handling). The same amount will be charged every 30 days after until canceled.
- The website uses logos of newspapers and other media as if they had reviewed the product, which they haven’t. For example, when viewed from Japan it shows the logos of Japan Times, Yomiui Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun
- The date at which the free trial is supposed to expire is always one day away – it is dynamically calculated based on your local time.
- The date of all “user comments” are always one day old – they are also dynamically calculated based on your local time.
The deception used in these ads is very similar to the tricks used in the “Work at home mom” scam and the target population may be similar too.
There is another variant of these ads. The ad text is something like “Woman is 53 but looks like 27” or “Mom Cut 20 Years in a Week Using This 1 Weird Trick” and takes you to a site called “consumers-lifestyles.net” where they advertise products called “BellaGenix” and “PuraSilk”. Shipping and handling is $4.95 but the first package is $99.95 and the subscription will cost you $89.95 every 30 days until cancelled. Beware!