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Norwich: Mum Warns Over Berry Scam
A Mum from Norwich who thinks she might have fallen for a weight loss scam is telling Heart why she wants to warn other people about it.
Louise Burman from Norwich signed up for a free two week trial online for something called Acai berries which are meant to help with slimming.
She says she realised the website might be fake when she found some hidden terms and conditions showing she was going to be charged more than £100.
She thinks people need to be careful about the sites they choose:
"Trying to lose some baby weight - any bit of help - fantastic. It looked legitimate, I couldn't see any problems with it at all. I was disappointed in myself that I had done it but also really angry. People who are trying to lose weight, there's a lot of people out there that would be susceptible to this."
Norfolk Trading Standards gave Heart the following warning:
"Norfolk Trading Standards are warning people to be aware when accepting a 'trial offer' for slimming pills. The offer is usually a 'pop up' message that appears whilst people are browsing social networking sites. The offer claims to be a risk free trial of acai berries, which supposedly aid rapid weight loss. When customers respond to the "Free Trial Offer" they give card details believing that there is only a small charge to cover postage and packaging. However, if the customer fails to cancel the 'Free Trial Offer' they are deemed to have agreed to an ongoing supply of the product, at a cost of around £70 to £80 each month. Not only is the money lost, there is also the potential risk of taking pills where there is no guarantee that they comply with any medicinal or safety legislation."
For more information contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 08454 04 05 06.
Trading Standards would advise people to seek professional advice before buying or using such products and say 'be on your guard. If it seems too good to be true, it's probably a scam.'
They added that people should never give out their bank details to anyone unless they've checked them out.
You can sign up to Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Scam Alert System at www.norfolk.gov.uk/scams
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