Friday, October 14, 2016

"Jimmy Fallon Speechless"

Have you seen the Internet ad that reads, "Jimmy Fallon Speechless?"  You know, the one with Lucy Liu's face smiling wide, inviting you to click on the pic and learn why Jimmy was left without words?

Or the one with an older Asian gent who's eyes magically go from puffy to perfect in seconds with only the addition of some "miracle" cream?

Or the one where Christie Brinkley and Dr. Oz open the metaphorical doors to eternal youth for you via some little bottle of something?

And all of them, ALL OF THEM, can be yours for an absolutely "free 14-day home trial" at the absurdly low cost of just $4.95 to cover "shipping and handling."  Sounds impossibly great, doesn't it?  It should, because it is.  A friend of mine just fell for this scam.  And friends, it is a scam! Here's how it works:

After you've been reeled in, the ad, usually on Facebook or as a paid-for ad on a website you visit, will require you to fill in your vital info, as in name, address, etc. before you get any more data. Then you'll be required to "tic" the little box indicating you've read and understand the rules governing this amazing offer.  And so you do, because everybody "tics" the little box without actually reading the rules and regulations.  Right? 


What happens next is murderous.  You give the ad your credit card number and click the "apply" button.  A couple of days later you get your "miracle" bottle of something or other in the mail.  You start using it.  You don't notice anything like the "magic" results that Lucy or Christie or the Asian gentleman experienced, but at least it only cost $4.95 to give it a try.  WRONG!  If you don't call the number, which is usually hard to find, or mail back the product so it arrives within the 14-day "trial" period, your credit card will be billed an OBSCENE amount!  

In the case of the Lucy Liu ad, you'll be dinged $129.95 for that little 2 oz. bottle of goop!  Others of these scam ads will charge $89.95 or even more!  And you'll automatically be sent another one each month until you call and cancel.  And it may be several months before you even realize you've been had!  And they won't take back the product after the 14 day trial period elapses!  You're basically screwed, and it's all your fault!

A friend of mine got had via this scam.  I offered to try and help.  I spent a painful 2 hours on the phone with some guy named "Steve."  He was with this company's "fraud department."  Strange, don't you think?  A little vitamin and supplement company with a "fraud department?"  Of course, if you're engaged in a fraud, you'd need a fraud department.

Anyway, Steve and I had a long shouting match.  He threatened my friend with felony fraud and mail tampering if he tried to get out of the deal.  I threatened him with conducting an Internet scam.  I told him I would call the police and the FBI and the CIA and the highway patrol.  I finally won this little tete-a-tete by simply informing him that my friend had notified his credit card company and instructed them not to honor the charges.  In fact, I advised my friend to cancel his card and ask for a new one. Good ol' Steve, recognizing that his little scam operation would have to follow through with all those threats if he wanted to try and get back the $347.89 he'd lifted off my friend, seemed to give up at this point.  He grudgingly signed off from the "fraud department," unhappy, but resigned to losing this battle with an unhappy "customer."

Here's a little advice:  

     1) Read the fine print, regardless of just how fine it is.

     2) Be on the lookout for scams any time you do business over the Internet.

     3) And finally, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is!

As for me, The Chuckmeister, I've decided I look just fine the way I am.  Because at these prices, I just can't afford to look any better...

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