As we bounce back from the pandemic, many things from a few years ago are also coming back.
Among them: wrinkle cream rip-offs that take your credit number for a "free" sample, then bill you in perpetuity.
They lure women in with trusted, well-loved celebrities including Doctor Oz, Ellen, Savannah Guthrie and Robin Roberts, among others.
"I saw something about Robin Roberts leaving Good Morning America," said Connie Borelli, who spotted an ad for one of these creams on Facebook. "So I clicked on it, and it said she is leaving because her skin care company is taking off."
Joanna Gaines of HGTV, the Magnolia Network and Discovery Plus has been used in similar ads. One announced: "HGTV nightmare: Joanna Gaines leaves show to start a cosmetic line."
Some of the ads have People Magazine's logo, just to make them look even more legitimate.
But they are all untrue. Robin Roberts has even tweeted about this several times.
Thank you but this is not true. It’s a bogus ad..a total scam. I and other public figures have been subjected to this falsehood and hope to put an end to it soon. https://t.co/Yfy24gkXLj
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) August 25, 2018
Borelli didn't realize it and figured she would try a sample.
"All you have to do is send money for the shipping, and they would send you a sample," she said.
What happens when you give a credit card number
But the free sample that she thought would just cost her $6 in shipping has now turned into a monthly delivery of almost $100 bucks each time.
"I was hit with a credit card charge for $94.90 twice, as well as for shipping, $6.95 twice," she said.
The total came to over $400 in just a couple of months' time.
We emailed the Southern California company sending her this cream from what appears to be a post office box but have not heard back.
The bottom line: Whether you see an ad featuring Robin Roberts, Savannah Guthrie, Joanna Gaines, Ellen or Doctor Oz, none of them are selling facial cream.
The celebrities have sued the purveyors of these creams, but like whack-a-mole, these offers are popping back up now that the pandemic is easing.
Borelli is now disputing the charges through her credit card.
But don't let it get that far. Be careful of wrinkle cream "free sample" offers that require a credit or debit card.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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