We have all heard the admonitions to check our credit card bills monthly for charges which we did not incur. This is the story of what happened to me recently when I discovered such a charge for on my card in the amount of $1053.00.
First I racked my brain trying to remember buying anything from a company called URCNBlue. I imagined it was netspeak for “You Are Seeing Blue” and thought it was some kind of porno operation. Instead I found it was an eBay seller of used jewelry with a perfect feedback record. I googled the phone number associated with it on the credit card bill and found an eBay reference to a cell phone with that number which had been purchased on eBay and which didn’t work. Curiously, this number is now in use by PayPal.
I immediately called both the credit card company and PayPal, which had apparently brokered the transaction. Both companies explained that they would have to have a real signature from me to proceed. The form for this could be sent to me by mail and I would have to sign and return the form by mail. Fortunately, I discovered that I could download the necessary forms and mail them, saving the days of waiting for the form. And I did so.
Within days I received replies from both that they were investigating. A few days later I received notification from both that my account would be credited with $1053.00 to reverse the charge. If fact, both did so and I was now $1053.00 ahead, but the credit card company found the error and withdrew their credit, leaving me wholly restored, except for the worry and paranoia about having been scammed. No explanation was given by either company for the original mistakes/scams.
Now paranoid, I went back to my credit card bills and carefully checked each item for the past two years. I discovered another charge for $9.95 by Eadenssoftcom, LLC in the same month as the first mistaken charge. I googled the name and discovered that this is a well-known scammer (see http://www.kilikina.net/archives/2004/07/06/the-amazing-995-credit-card-scam for a comprehensive report). Once again the charge was quickly reversed by my credit card company, but the widespread use of this scam was amazing.
So, what have I learned?
1. The credit companies involved acted quickly to reverse the error (scam).
2. Inquiries lead me to believe that no charges are ever brought against scammers until the amount exceeds $50,000.00
3. The $1053.00 may have been due to a “keying error”. I have emailed the person involved but have had no response to date. (Wouldn’t you want to clear this up?)
4. The $9.95 charge was a clear scam. These people are probably still operating.
Check your credit card bill carefully each month.
In short, Be Careful Out There!