Endorsements are a driving force for companies and can directly affect the success of their products. Acquiring a celebrity to be the face representing your skincare products brings notoriety and gives the customers a sense of familiarity.
They feel as though they can trust someone they see on their TV every week or in movies. However, every beauty product that has a celebrity’s face attached to it is not authentic. Sometimes, it is not even them really promoting it at all.
How Companies Use Celebrity Status?
Companies have been using celebrity names to scam people into buying skincare products they think either are endorsed by the celebrities or are a new product they are selling themselves.
The scams have been for skincare products such as facial creams, lotions, anti-wrinkle creams and similar types of products. This is a marketing sham that companies have been using recently and has been very effective in getting money from people.
An example of how they do this is by making a credible claim about the celebrity, such as one company did with Pricilla Chan, who is the wife of Mark Zuckerberg.
The company’s website had a story about how she was launching an anti-wrinkle cream that would be a part of an entire skincare line.
It had quotations around statements that she supposedly said and very well might have in regards with her beliefs around health. However, her words were not connected with the anti-wrinkle cream they proposed were.
The website even featured other celebrities with accompanying quotes with support and praise of the anti-wrinkle cream. Kati Perry and Selena Gomez were seen alongside Pricilla’s husband, Mark. They were quoted saying that the anti-wrinkle cream gave them excellent results.
Another beauty product scam was with Christina El Moussa, who once starred in the HGTV series Flip or Flop. The company claimed that she was assisting in a new creation for an anti-wrinkle cream. The scam was really well put together. The article that featured the product information appeared to be from People magazine.
This all came about during her very public divorce from her husband Tarik. The claim played on this by saying she could support herself without any help from Tarik because of the money that she made from this new anti-wrinkle serum.
Free Trials: How Do They Work?
These scams have worked so well because of the offer to pay little to nothing upfront. They provide the customer with so many claims of how good the products will improve* their skin, showing proof from the words of celebrities and before and after pictures.
Giving away free trials is a big pull in the scams that these companies sell. The majority of the time, people consider that there is no harm in trying something out first, especially if someone famous has associated their name with it.
However, the no obligations claim turns out not to be true. The hidden charges that later come have been misleading customers consistently. That is when the scam is unveiled. By then, though, it is too late and the company has already charged their credit card. These charges can continue for months. In some cases, you cannot simply call and cancel because customer service will conveniently not be available whenever you call.
Are The “Free Trials” Legal?
Unfortunately, once you sign certain documentation, the scam is not breaking any laws. You have essentially signed an agreement with the company for the transactions of money to commence.
It is important that you read whatever you are signing before moving forward with the beauty products because that is the only thing that is legally binding.
How To Avoid The Scams?
There is really no way of stopping the scams from happening. They have continued for several years and with the way that technology has improved*, they will undoubtedly be ongoing. Some celebrities, though, have started to sue companies for using false pictures and statements to promote their products. To avoid becoming a victim of these types of scams, there are some things you can do such as:
- Research whatever you are buying. Don’t just assume that because they say the skincare product is legitimate, it is.
- Find other customers on forums unrelated to the company’s website that give real reviews of the products.
- Check out what the product is made of. Anything that you are going to put on your face should be thoroughly investigated so that no adverse effects happen on your face. Plus, this will indicate whether or not the product is actually real.
- Double check the authenticity of the URL before you input your information, such as address and financial institutions
- Buy skincare and other beauty products from a company that has a high reputation. Don’t buy from a company you are unfamiliar with.
While skincare is a major part of the scams recently, they are not by themselves when it comes to scams. Some other industries this occur in are:
- Health products including diet pills and medical supplies
- Toothpastes and other related tooth improvement
The thing to remember is that free trials can translate into another meaning: scam. While some legitimate companies may offer these from time to time, it is your job as a consumer to decipher those real companies from the fake. It is a must with the world’s means of technological savvy.
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