Product test scam: A look at current-product tests.de and gratis-product tests.de

Not only with returns, but also with product tests, people are lured on the Internet who want to get free articles from all possible areas quickly and easily. From electronics to body care, everything is promised on some websites. Through a few entanglements in the study by produktretter.org I came across two other websites that are strongly suspected of being scams. Hence the questions: Is current-producttests.de a scam? and Is gratis-produkttests.de a scam? – In this post I will show you why I think that these two sides should not be trusted with data.

Test products for free and in return submit your own thoughts in the form of an experience report - sounds like a good deal, doesn't it? Some operators of websites on the Internet seem to want to enrich themselves with this.
Test products for free and in return submit your own thoughts in the form of an experience report - sounds like a good deal, doesn't it? Some operators of websites on the Internet seem to want to enrich themselves with this.

The connection between returns and product testing scams

If you haven't read the article on produktretter.org linked above, nor the previously published article on the now-deleted retouren-produkte-retten.de page, here's a little review: At the end of January 2023, I noticed a page through frequent YouTube advertising that advertised with free returns from online shops. You should register, pay one euro and then receive returned goods that you have selected yourself. It was all too good to be true. And that's why I made investigations - you can see it all here.

Through a comment below the post, I came across the above-mentioned produktretter.org site, which follows the same pattern and also seems to be a scam. Don't click on it, and don't enter your data in the registration form! But I took a look at the same thing and came across gratis-produkttests.de when the data protection information was linked. That's right, one page linked to the other page (probably by mistake due to a copy error of generic text sections). And by entering text passages from this page in search engines, I found current-product tests.de. 

Both websites with product test promises offer the same content, the same clues for suspected scams and once again a questionable imprint with BlueSnake Ltd as a company on 1st April Street in Larnaca, Cyprus. So much for the background of the whole thing. Now let's take a look at what makes the two sides so suspicious.

Suspected scam: Is gratis-produkttests.de a scam / rip-off?

Sorry for the clickbait headline, it's for search engine optimization. So that people who are looking for gratis-produkttests.de experiences can find this post. Why? So that they come across these points that should set their alarm bells ringing:

  • It is only advertised with free product tests and does not show what the testers' "thoughts about possible improvements" are used for. There is no section with test reports (only four alleged 5-star ratings, which also appear on current-product tests.de) and there is no reference to market research campaigns. The aim of the product tests is therefore not clear.
  • Several images found on the website are stolen from other websites. Above the alleged comment on Perwoll detergent there is a picture whose origin I was able to find out from the frag-mutti.de website. The image for Barbell's Cookies & Cream protein bar comes from the blog proteinriegel-junkie.de. Details and information from the site operators can be found below.
  • The legal notice is BlueSnake Ltd, 14, 1st April Street Unit 3 Larnaca, 6035, Cyprus. This is the same imprint that was also found on the now deleted page retouren-produkte-retten.de.
  • The T&Cs represent minimal effort to reassure people with an interest in the legal background of the whole matter. Apparently there is no contract. I could imagine that this is a clause to protect against possible legal claims. But I'm far from an expert in this field, so this is just a layman's guess.
  • When registering, you have to agree to a trial subscription to a magazine, which will continue to run for a fee after a certain period of time without notice. After registration, a “bonus offer” from the Deutsche Schutzbrief Gesellschaft is offered for sale, for which you then have to provide your bank details. General terms and conditions and general terms and conditions are linked there again. The former cannot be reached, the latter lead to a PDF from AXA Assistance Deutschland GmbH. Why?
In the imprint of free product tests we come across a well-known company.
In the imprint of free product tests we come across a well-known company.
Once you have filled out the registration form and agreed to the magazine subscription, you will be taken to a bonus offer. Account details are also requested here.
Once you have filled out the registration form and agreed to the magazine subscription, you will be taken to a bonus offer. Account details are also requested here.

Suspected scam: Is current-producttests.de a scam / rip-off?

Again, the headline is intended to draw people's attention to the above points when they are looking for current-producttests.com reviews. Because the same things that stand out in the list above are the same with this site. There are the same stolen pictures, the same imprint, and so on. However, there is one important difference: the terms and conditions and data protection notices of gratis-produkttests.de are linked in the registration form. Apparently, the reference text was simply copied and pasted here, without linking to the company's own terms and conditions and data protection pages, which can be found in the footer of the website. But the rest is exactly the same, including the magazine subscription.

However, there is one major difference: there is an area where you can submit testimonials. You do not have to register for this, you simply have to state what you have tested, what the experience report is and what your own telephone number is. You can also upload photos from the test. This form, as rudimentary and unclean as it may look, gives the site a more serious look. After all, it is pretended that test reports are actually accepted. However, as with the other side, they are silent about what they are to be used for.

There is more information in the imprint of the current product tests website. The VAT number in particular caught my eye when creating the screenshots.
There is more information in the imprint of the current product tests website. The VAT number in particular caught my eye when creating the screenshots.

What I noticed when creating the pictures for this article: A VAT number (VAT) is given in the imprint of actual-producttests.de! A found food for me, because as before in the investigation of produktretter.org and their alleged Swiss tax number can be used to query the validity of the same. And I have on the website of the European Commission just done it. It turned out that the VAT is apparently not well known and certainly not made for cross-border business. Even if the VAT number existed, the offer for Germany might not even be legal (as I said: I'm not an expert and this is an amateur interpretation of the search result).

The VAT query indicates that this tax number from Cyprus (if it actually exists) is not made for cross-border transactions.
The VAT query indicates that this tax number from Cyprus (if it actually exists) is not made for cross-border transactions.

What is the goal of the two "product test" pages?

While the account data on the two returns websites are quickly accessed in order to apparently tap the same, to have it confirmed by a small transfer and then to use it yourself (either by entering it in other services or by SEPA direct debit), the product test sees it -Pages slightly different. Possibly the commissions for the magazine subscriptions and for the conclusion of the contract with the Deutsche Schutzbrief Gesellschaft are used as a source of income. Since apparently the same scammers are behind it, it just seems to be a second mainstay for them.

Images used illegally on both websites

As mentioned in the list above, I once again retraced website images. Two in particular caught my eye. The first is a Fake Perwoll standing on top of a washing machine. The amateurishly taken photo is reminiscent of something you would add to a field report - and that's exactly how it is. Except that this was submitted by the user Nicole on the frag-mutti.de platform in 2019: Here the thread with the contribution from 23.02.2019. The second picture shows protein bars and comes from the blog proteinriegel-junkie.de: Here the entry, which according to the source code was also created in 2019.

Two images are used on both product testing websites, which I have no hesitation in attributing to other sources. The operators of the respective pages have confirmed to me that the images are being used illegally.
Two images are used on both product testing websites, which I have no hesitation in attributing to other sources. The operators of the respective pages have confirmed to me that the images are being used illegally.

I wrote to both the press office of frag-mutti.de and Jahn from the protein bar blog and drew their attention to the use of their pictures on the above-mentioned sites. I got the answer from Bernhard Finkbeiner, the managing director of Frag-Mutti, that it happens again and again that images on the site are used illegally. If a violation of the law is identified, legal action will be taken. However, the use on scam sites is something new and not previously known. Jahn from the protein bar blog has confirmed to me that these are his own recordings to which he holds the rights. But he saves himself the trouble of taking action against a company in Cyprus.

Waiting for the answers from the consumer centers and the police advice

I have written to the consumer centers of the German federal states again regarding the two sides and the suspected scam or fraud. Perhaps there are already reports or complaints, possibly even action against the sites. Possibly these places can also drive out my suspicion and explain to me that these are serious offers (well, probably not...). So far there has been no such feedback. I'm also waiting for information from the police advisory service (https://www.polizei-beratung.de). I'm excited to see what comes back. 

Your experiences with current-product tests.de and gratis-product tests.de

Have you signed up for either site? What happened then? Did you actually receive test products? And did you cancel your subscription to the magazines and the Deutsche Schutzbrief Gesellschaft in good time? Or did you just fall into a cost trap? Please leave a comment with your experiences. Maybe I'm completely on the wrong track and these are completely serious websites. Help me at this point to understand the offers and their goals.

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