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Joan Bakewell reveals how she fell victim to online ‘scam’

  • Joan Bakewell, 84 decided to try out a free trial for an anti-wrinkle cream online
  • Baroness Bakewell bought the cream from a company called Claire Hydrafirm 
  • When she later checked her account she found that £160 had been taken
  • The company had taken two withdrawals of £79.94 because she hadn’t acted in the 14-day trial period  

Joan Bakewell has revealed how she foolishly fell victim to an online face cream ‘scam’.

The 84-year-old TV presenter said she saw an advert for a free trial for an anti-wrinkle cream and decided to try it out. She received the product in five days but later found that £160 had been taken from her bank account.

Speaking about her experience with the company, called Claire Hydrafirm, Baroness Bakewell said: ‘It was a hugely disappointing enterprise and I felt I’d been a fool. I suspect it might have been Facebook [where she saw the product advertised], how gullible can you be.

Joan Bakewell, 84 decided to try out a free trial for an anti-wrinkle cream online but later found £160 had been taken from her bank account

‘I don’t know how I came about it, I’m such a gullible person. My brain must have been switched off really. It cost me £160 – what a fool.’

Claire Hydrafirm’s website said that customers who buy products under the 14-day trial programme will receive ‘one full jar and will initially be charged only a small postage and packaging fee of £4.93 on your credit card’.

But if no action is taken by the customer after the 14-day period, the credit card provided will automatically be charged £79.94 for one full jar of product, and charged £79.94 every 30 days thereafter.

The 84-year-old TV presenter found that the company had taken two withdrawals of £79.94 because she hadn't acted in the 14-day trial period

The 84-year-old TV presenter found that the company had taken two withdrawals of £79.94 because she hadn’t acted in the 14-day trial period

When Baroness Bakewell, a Labour peer, noticed the money had left her account, she contacted the company’s call centre, which she said is based in the Philippines, but was unable to get a refund. Claire Hydrafirm’s website says customers may ‘cancel at any time’ if they are unhappy with the product, but many reported having been charged twice, and receiving a serum they did not ask for.

Baroness Bakewell said her experience is ‘a lesson learned’. She added: ‘What the hell do I care about my wrinkles when I’m my age. It’s absurd’.

Claire Hydrafirm has not responded to a request for comment.

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