While doing Bank Statement reconcilliation for my company, I cam across 2 suspicious charges:
11/16/06 - $5.95 from a company called GSA/SBA Express
11/28/06 - $7.95 from a company called NetworkAgenda.com
Both are based out of Utah. I spoke to each person on the account, and none had ever heard of either company. I googled both names and found several Rip-off Reports for the exact same companies and amounts, though they also included $29.95 from Grant Writer Pro.
I called the bank to report the charges (they said a signatory must dispute the charges in person). The owner disputed the charges, and as I was filling out the forms today, I checked our account again:
12/4/06 - $29.95 from Grant Writer Pro
12/28/06 - $7.95 from NetworkAgenda.com
I called each phone number listed on the bank statement:
1-866-370-7270 (Grant Writer Pro) - A woman identifying herself as Lordes listened for a moment, then, when it became clear why I was calling, hung up on me.
1-800-986-2640 (GSA/SBA Express) - I was told that only if I provided certain information, could they help me. I was asked (in this order) for:
- my zip code
- my name (with spelling)
- my email address
- the first and last four digits of the card that was charged
While I hesitantly provided the first three pieces of information, I explained to the customer service representative that I did not think providing my credit card information to a company that had already engaged in fraudulent billing was a good idea. She proceeded to ask for this information several more times, then told me that she could possibly help if I faxed her a copy of my bank statement to prove I'd been charged. Oddly enough, the word "redacted" did not occur in this request.
I called Grant Writer Pro again. I was assured that the previous hang up was unintentional. At each company, I listened to the exact same woman read their "Your call may be monitored..." message. I spoke to another woman identifying herself as Sharon, who asked me for the exact same information in the exact same order.
I explained that I was not going to give her my credit card info, and by the way her company has 32 separate fraud-related complaints against it on this website, so I would now be handling this dispute directly through my bank and filing a fraud report. I assured her I did not hold her personally responsible, and hoped she had a nice day, but I was through dealing with her company. She called back 30 seconds later to ask for a faxed copy of my bank statement.
I see that someone identifying himself as "Ryan" seems all kinds of broken-up when he reads these reports and promptly promises to reverse the charges, but given the repeated and flagrant nature of this fraud, his crocodile tears simply don't pass the smell test. (Subsequent updates also reveal these to be empty promises)
I called my bank, again, and told them I particularly enjoyed getting hit with another set of fraudulent charges while in the process of disputing the first.
I'm not sure if there's a way to file a legal complaint (this is at least a regulatory violation) but if anyone has any idea, I'd be interested to hear it.