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Subject: [IP] credit card rip-off (fwd)

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: ip@v2.listbox.com
  • Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 18:00:03 -0500



Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <Bob2-19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: December 10, 2005 5:37:35 PM EST
To: dave@farber.net, ip@v2.listbox.com
Subject: RE: [IP] credit card rip-off (fwd)

Thanks for flagging this &#x2013; discovered my son was being billed for



RESERVATIONREWARDS  800-732-7031      CT



And also



SHOPPERDISCOUNT.COM 800-889-8776      CT



since July.



Good thing I have a database of transactions and was able to quickly find this. I called Amex about the first and they mentioned the second one which I then found. I reported it as fraud and asked them to block the merchant but they have no way. Too bad the one-time use card numbers didn&#x2019;t work out &#x2013; they should be required to manage such relationships. It&#x2019;s also too bad that the Amex doesn&#x2019;t require a tracking code for each transaction (though some merchants supply one).



I also do my own email and was able to track down the letters they were sending every month &#x2013; of course popfile classified it as spam though I don&#x2019;t know about the Outlook filter which my son uses.



I then called the first number but gave the membership number from ShoppersDiscount. Of course they are the same company so he quickly found the record. The guy was actually friendly. I finally found the ReservationRewards number by tracking down the email &#x2013; it was my son&#x2019;s credit card but my name! Strange. That&#x2019;s why he couldn&#x2019;t find it from my son&#x2019;s name.



He said it was not policy to refund but I mentioned the fraud reports though never made a threat and he cooperated.



He told me that the first sign-up was via eCost and the second via NextTicketing. I see those popups offering rewards for shopping and stuff and can see someone unintentionally signing up.



This falls into the class of finagle marketing and is difficult to ban though you can easily argue that people are not really intending to sign up. But then some people like signing up for discounts &#x2013; that&#x2019;s often the reason for joining AAA or AARP or WBUR or simply getting booklets from local merchants.



This also relates to the problems of micro-transactions that I wrote about thirty years ago &#x2013; how do you manage all of these little charges and have a sense of what is going on. It doesn&#x2019;t help that email is too polluted to find the letters and then you wouldn&#x2019;t want to trust a site that requires say OK to see the images &#x2013; at very least they should embed the pictures rather than using URLs. But then the do the tracking that we want to prevent as in http:// www.shopperdiscountsandrewards.com/enter.asp?c=****** (Number changed to protect the innocent &#x2013; me). Here too to be fair &#x2013; assigning a unique URL is also a good way to make it easier for those who want the discounts to take advantage of it. I do get mail from eCost and other sites and it&#x2019;s not all that different.



This is the world of salesman &#x2013; like in &#x201C;Death of a&#x201D;. Even if I like to buy from eCost I&#x2019;m under no illusion that they could be selling Rolex watches rather than just computer stuff. In fact they do sell those watches and anything else they can proffer. Used car, new supercomputer &#x2013; no difference.



I don&#x2019;t have a simple answer other than be aware but I&#x2019;m mulling.



But better to direct your anger at the cellular carriers and their hostage fees where you have to pay to escape.





-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 14:02
To: ip@v2.listbox.com
Subject: [IP] credit card rip-off (fwd)







Begin forwarded message:



From:

Date: December 10, 2005 1:29:56 PM EST

To: Dave Farber <dave@farber.net>

Subject: Fwd: credit card rip-off (fwd)





Per our discussion at dinner last night:



This from one of the girls, but I have not yet tried to establish the

accuracy of the information nor have I been the victim of this

particular

scam.



Beware of this scam...

______________________

well, the mystery of some of the odd charges on the credit card is

explained - there is a scam going around through Expedia.com -

details below:



http://adam.rosi-kessel.org/weblog/the_man/

webloyalty_aka_wli_reservations_is_a_scam.html



Bottom line: when using on-line services, be extremely careful and

conservative. Do not click any unknown links if you have just given

credit card info. Minimize use the credit card over the web.



I also recommend against using Expedia.com due to these problems.









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