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Billing / Renewal / Subscription Scam – Automatic Charging for Unauthorized Services
Billing scams arrive primarily in three forms. Deceptive Billing, Scam Billing, and Absolute Fraud
In deceptive billing scam, the terms of billing is camouflaged to make a buyer believe he is buying a product for certain amount but end up taking a subscription which keeps billing him every month. Buyer receives a txt message or phone call for a Trial Offer by paying just postage fee. Credit card is charged for the postage.
Unknowing to the buyer , the fraud supplier has already got the buyer’s acceptance to bill him certain amount every month, unless he cancels the subscription. The buyer is shocked when he is alerted by a charge on his card after a month and every month thereafter! He may or may not get the product and will be forced to cancel his card to stop the rogue Automatic Billing.
This type of subterfuge is played as a practice, by health and beauty product suppliers and other subscription players including magazines, music /video downloads, games, movie rental etc.
The consumer forums are abuzz about fraudulent credit card charges made by Dead Sea Beauty Kit, Lipo Slim, Pure Berry, Hydra White etc There a number of fraud websites which charge customers, after asking them to submit Credit card details only for records.
Rogue agencies often with deceptive names, dupe users into signing up for unwanted services. This scam is quite common in Telecom and Utility services. Consumers have reported receipt of mails & text messages purportedly from their regular service providers like Verizone or At&T but with shockingly high “Balance Due”. There will be website links to view details and the unwary user clicks and is lead to websites which infect user’s PC with malware and viruses. Apart from this, the fraud websites collect user’s personal info to facilitate further attack.
Cyber criminals steal credit card and bank details of internet users by various means and directly steal money from accounts. There are large cyber crime networks which charge small amounts (just a few dollars) every month on thousands of accounts. Most people fail to notice these small charges and the criminals earn millions, through such scams.
There are thousands of websites operating at any given time masquerading as online shopping portals, offering great deals. The product pictures are stolen from elsewhere. Shoppers are lured by discounted prices and enticed to place order.
Credit cards are charged and the products never arrive. Many other websites over-charge and there will be no means to resolve the matter, due to absence of customer support.
Steps to Protect Yourself from Billing Scam
- Avoid unpopular ecommerce websites like plague (Check traffic to the website if its less than 5000 visits per day. Give it a miss. You can use Calcustat.com to check traffic)
- Free Trail Offers are always a trap to sign you up for subscription. The websites would have made it tough for you not to subscribe automatically. The most common trick is for users to contact site and cancel before certain number of days. A user would not have read the fine print in the “Terms” regarding this.
- Unless you have read and understood the Terms of Service, do not sign up for Free Trials with your Credit card
- Check your utility bills regularly for any unauthorized charge
- Check your Credit Card and Bank statements regularly for any for any unauthorized charge
- Ensure that you are signed up for Txt and email alert from your CC provider and Bank
Report phone numbers of unauthorized service providers who have billed you at Scamcallfighters.com
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