I was called on my cell phone while on a 3hr drive by a three-digit phone number on a Friday (July 22nd, 2005). Stupid me I answered. A fast talking gentleman with a thick middle-eastern accent by the name of "Henry" was offering me a "consumer grant" that I was "guaranteed" for the amount of $5,000. And he needs my checking account to deposit it into. I said "Deposit ONLY" I don't want to have to pay for this. He said yes.
He then says "a government official will come to your door tommorrow to drop off the paperwork and again on the following business day which will be Monday and pick it up. When he arrives to pick it up he will give you $500 cash in exchange for you to look over our other offers."
He said that the money would be depositted into my banking account within 4 after I file the paperwork. Something still seemed fishy. Free money? About a 5-10 min. into the conversation he was asking me to approve an amount of $29.95 to be taken from my account. I asked what for. He said it was for the membership fee. It was to cover things like the government official's messengering costs and so on. He then promted me to do a recording to verify the deal.
The recording didn't say anything about $5,000 and the $500 was to be in the form of coupons. When it said do I agree to the $500 coupons I said to Henry, "I thought you said cash?" He replied that cash was an option that he had to put into the computer and that the recording was incorrect. He erased and rerecorded that part for me to start over. I then said to the recording "yes, $500 cash as an option". He then stopped the recording and said that the system would only accept a yes answer to continue, and erased and rerecorded my "yes".
At the end of the recording I heard a 1800 number but he wouldn't repeat it or give me the number. He just said that it would be with the papers I would get the next day with the government official and that my account wouldn't be charged for 2 more business days.
I waited till the next Friday (July 29th, 2005) and called them back with the number I got from my Bank when they withdrew the money. It is now Monday, August 1st and I haven't seen a government official and accourding to the call back number I won't. My $29.95 covers my membership fee of which I cancelled my membership (on July 29th) before they had a chance to give me benefits (as of yet). And from what they can tell me is only a welcome letter and a coupon book which no one knows what it specifically covers.
When I have asked for the name of the company that I have called they would just hang up on me. They have hung up on me 8 times including the assistant manager. I just got the info today from the only person there that didn't seem to have an accent at all. The only person who can refund me my money is on leave untill the end of September! They won't call her.
I have called them within 3 days of purchase and no services rendered and requested my money back. I have contacted the Federal Trading Commision and the Police. And I am not going to rest untill something has been done about this.
U.S.A. EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back! HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent! DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form. CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com EDitor@ripoffreport.com bad
Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!
We are not lawyers.
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We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency ...by consumers, for consumers CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on First Beneficial