Beware of Free Trial Offers

Security Tips

Beware of Free Trial Offers

Some offers are too good to be true. Signing up for a seemingly “free” trial often leads to being billed for that product or service monthly. Once a business has your payment information, they can take advantage of you by locking you into unexpected payments and making it difficult for you to cancel a subscription or service. For example, a free trial offer with a 15-day cancellation deadline, may ship the free trial product to you outside of the 15-day window leaving you on the hook for recurring fees. Follow these tips to avoid getting charged for additional services or fees: 

  • Research. You can do this online by reading consumer reviews to learn what others have to say about the company, its products, and their experiences with the company’s free trial offers.
  • Some free trial offers have opt-out dates. Mark your calendar and be sure to cancel your trial before this date to avoid paying recurring fees.
  • Read and understand the terms and conditions of the offer
  • Beware of any “free trial” that requires a payment card number. If you are required to enter a payment card number, be sure to monitor your statements for that card.
  • Review online banking transactions. Log into online banking, change the date range for your transactions to a three-month period, and check to see if you continue to be charged for a product or service for a time period longer than what was agreed upon.
  • Understand all pre-checked boxes when ordering online. You may find that the checked boxes are giving the company permission to sign up for additional products or services or unwanted emails.
  • Make sure you are aware of what you will need to do to cancel the service when you are no longer interested.

For more information and tips to protect your confidential information visit SEFCU's Security Center.