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Scams & Shady Business

So last year in my search for a work at home job, I got caught up in a huge scam. A "company" called The Global Speculator was hiring researchers, writers and more for telecommuting jobs to help create and maintain their website. It really seemed legit. That is until a few weeks into it everyone was freaking out because they weren't getting paid. I mean there were about a hundred "employees" for this place, most of whom had started working over a month before I was "hired". The funny thing is, the "owner" had set up a company email system where all the employees could get mass emails from managers. This allowed them all to communicate and therefore find out that no-one was getting paid. So, I was scammed and had given out my social and my bank account number. Of course I was livid. I was worried about what was going to be done with my information. One of the people that had also been scammed said they had signed up for a free trial of an identity theft program and recommended it. I went to check it out and signed up for the free month.

Fast forward a year and a half later. I am looking at a bank statement and see two charges from some company I have never heard of. (or so I thought). These charges had a website address by it, so I get on the web to check it out. PM Identity & Privacy Matters. The company I signed up for a free 30 day trial with. I keep all my bank statements (even though I never seem to look at them) and went back looking through them. I find more charges - twice a month - for this company with two names. I am extremely angry at this point. So I call these people up. The customer service agent informs me I signed up for a free 30 day trial and after that it automatically went into a charged monthly fee. WTF???? I asked to speak to a manager and boy did I GO OFF on this guy!

Obviously he didn't even know what to say. After I explained the situation to him and expressed my anger to him, all he could say was, "well what do you want me to do?" Ummm, duh! I want ALL my money back. I actually got him to agree to four months of charges back and got off the phone with many threats. I went through all the bank statements I had saved with my husband and realized they had been charging me every month, twice a month for 15 months! For a total of $1018! And I never even knew because I don't check my statements!

The questions in my mind were: how the hell can they do this? I was never told I would be getting charged anything after the free trial. And if I was automatically signed up for the program, how long do you get signed up for? Life? I mean usually a place puts you on for a year. It was a year and a half! So I had my husband call them, because he is able to be much more calm during these situations. Then he was told we were getting a refund for 11 of the months. He got off the phone. We talked and figured out exactly how much we were owed so he could call them back again. This time he was told had indeed credited our account back for the full 15 months of charges and that it would be two business days for us to see it. I was relieved, but a bit wary.

The thing that really gets me is, they obviously know what they did was wrong, otherwise they would not even consider a refund. I'm not really sure what the next step in this is, but I did get emails today stating that our account was being credited. I am really crossing my fingers here.

I guess the moral of this story is, (in case your anything like me) never give your credit card # out unless you trust the company you are buying from (or getting a free trial from), always check your bank statements and trust no one. I realize not everyone makes such foolish mistakes as I did, but I also know that this company is defiantly doing this to other people all over the United States. If they can do it to me, I know they are doing it to alot of other unsuspecting people. So be careful and beware!


Sandra Hamlett said...

I feel your pain. I've been charged automatically a couple of times- twice by my credit card for some program they said I enrolled in (of course they couldn't tell me when I did this enrolling). We make a point of checking out every statement that comes into the house for these "mystery" charges.

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