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And, as has learned, Mayer's experience is far from unique.The scam starts with a merchant who decides to sell a product online, whether it's face cream, garcinia cambogia, weight-loss pills or teeth-whitening products. S.-based Federal Trade Commission has pointed out, the products used in subscription traps are largely irrelevant; the primary purpose, after all, is to acquire credit card numbers.has uncovered exactly how it works, including the motives and methods of the mysterious merchants and marketers involved; why it continues to work despite more than 26,000 complaints to the Better Business Bureau in the last year alone; and what credit card companies could do to stop it.Judy Mayer of Aurora, Ont., is one of those Canadians who paid a steep price for signing up for what appeared to be a great offer.As with other face cream offers, details about Rejuva Essence's recurring charges and trial period are accessible only via a small, faint "Terms" hyperlink at the bottom of the page.Mastercard told Mayer it was "very aware" of these face cream companies, but there was nothing it could do because the additional charges were explained on Rejuva Essence's website.

receives dozens of emails from Canadians telling us about all kinds of consumer concerns and deceptive schemes. What they actually signed up for is an online scheme known as a subscription trap, which uses sneaky fine print and deceptive marketing techniques, such as fake articles, bogus endorsements from respected celebrities like Ellen De Generes and Céline Dion and phoney surveys from legitimate companies, to trick people into paying for products and services they don't want.

Mayer was on Facebook back in January when she noticed an ad for an anti-aging cream featuring an endorsement from A few months later, Mayer discovered charges totalling nearly 0 on her Mastercard.

The charges were from Rejuva Essence, so she called the company's customer service line and was told that because she hadn't cancelled her subscription and returned the original sample within 14 days, she was charged for three more bottles, as set out in the offer's terms and conditions."I had no idea that I was to cancel a subscription," Mayer told "They did not tell me anything about it."Mayer insists she never saw any mention of a 14-day trial period and the recurring charges when she signed up for the offer — which is precisely the goal of a subscription trap, authorities say.

They say you need to replace your debit or credit card because you’ve been targeted by fraudsters.

It may be that there was never any policy and you’ve simply paid for a bit of paper.

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