Acai berry weight loss fad gives rise to credit card fraud
Customers across the world are being taken in by offers of "free" acai berry products that in reality lead to credit card charges.
In the US, PowerSupplements.com has released a report highlighting what it terms the "endless" varieties of these scams.
Commonly, companies use email spam with catchy subject lines, such as "lose 30 pounds in 30 days".
Consumers are then offered "free" acai berry-based supplements to promote weight loss.
The berries have hit the headlines recently, due to their supposed high levels of antioxidants and their ability to promote slimming in overweight people.
Customers taken in by the sales pitch then part with personal details to cover packaging costs, in return for their "free products".
They are then hit by autobilling charges which can often take $90 out of their bank or credit card accounts each month.
Meanwhile, in the UK a Daily Mirror investigation uncovered an apparent scam being run by a scheme known as "Judy's Weight Loss".
Customers were found to be stung for £75 after applying for the "free" offer.
Representatives of the newspaper then contacted Viv3Lab, supposed operators of the scheme.
They were told that company details, including the names of the firm's directors, were "confidential".
Published: 17 August 2009
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