Consumer member Shirley, 78, had more than $200 charged to her credit card for diet pills that promised to make her bikini-fit.
Shirley was sent two bottles of the diet pills called Garcinia Basics. They arrived in a package with a Belgian return address but Shirley says she hadn’t ordered them and has yet to discover how the company that sent them got her contact and credit-card details.
Garcinia cambogia pills have been touted as a miracle weight-loss product. We found ads claiming you’ll lose weight without exercise or even changing your diet.
Hype about the magic ingredient in the pills, an extract from the garcinia cambogia plant, has spawned a host of websites touting the product. Pushers of the pills claim that the hydroxycitric acid found in the plant will reduce appetite and burn fat. Marketing of the pills has also been linked to scam websites.
When Shirley discovered the charges for the pills on her credit card, she contacted her bank.
“They were very helpful and put a stop to any further transactions being charged to me,” Shirley said.
She also completed the bank’s chargebacks and disputes form.
Our consumer adviser Maggie Edwards says Shirley did the right thing: “If you think you've been caught by a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible. If your credit card has been fraudulently or mistakenly debited, you should be able to get your money refunded through a chargeback.”
A chargeback is where the money paid to a retailer is reversed out of their account and refunded to yours. If your bank refuses to do a chargeback and you’re unhappy with the reasons they give for not doing it, you can make a complaint to the Banking Ombudsman.
As for miracle weight-loss pills, don’t waste your money. Don’t trust any product that claims you can shed pounds without exercise or changing your diet. It’s not going to happen. None of the fat-busting claims made for garcinia cambogia have been borne out in rigorous clinical studies.
If you’ve been fraudulently charged for these pills, let us know.