With intent to buy moisturizer, woman charged $27,000
BATON ROUGE - A 30 minute trip to the Mall of Louisiana turned into the most expensive shopping experience of one woman's life.
Carol Lafitte says last month she walked into Forever Flawless, a luxury skincare company, to purchase moisturizer. It's a product she bought before and says it didn't cost more than $60. The shock of her life came the next day, when her bank called alerting her to excessive charges of nearly $27,000.
Lafitte says while she was in the store she was shown various items.
"He said, 'Oh I'm going to give you some stuff,'" said Lafitte. "They kept my card while the guy was showing me all this stuff and I said, 'I don't need that.'"
Surveillance photos show Lafitte walking out of the store as a happy customer carrying bags full of product. She tells 2 On Your Side she was under the impression she was given those items and she didn't pay for them. Her bank statement shows otherwise.
WBRZ obtained copies of each transaction from Forever Flawless and each receipt shows a signature. There are 10 charges of various amounts. There's a $7,700 charge for a "Forever Flawless Blue and Pink Diamond Collection Set" and a $5,500 charge for "Diamond Infused Age-Defying Cream, Serum and Thermal Mask."
A sign in the store says "no refunds." Forever Flawless says Lafitte signed for all the items and sent a surveillance image of her signing a screen. Lafitte says she only signed once and never intended to spend that much. She says she was taken advantage of.
"They don't give you a receipt, they don't let you look at it, you just sign the screen," she said.
An alert went off at Lafitte's bank, the Neighbor's Federal Credit Union fraud department. There are two types of fraud: fraud and non-fraud. Fraud includes situations where information has been stolen. Non-fraud is when a person willingly provides information but the merchant might be fraudulent.
Lafitte's case is considered non-fraud. The bank requires customers to make a good faith attempt to contact the merchant and reason with them. If nothing can be done, the bank gets involved. Lafitte says she made an attempt to contact the merchant but was unsuccessful in getting her money back. Thursday, Lafitte says Neighbor's credited her account $23,154.
GGP, a retail real estate company that manages the Mall of Louisiana says it's investigating and working with the store and the customer. Lafitte says she'll get her moisturizer somewhere else form now on.