Subject: PACIFIC WEBWORKS, INC/ Unauthorized Credit Card Charge/ Unsolicited Service/ Fraudulent Business Practices
The following was copied from my "high-end" American Express Card account, which I monitor on a frequent basis:
Transaction Date: 12/XX/2007
Transaction Description: PW/EAUCTION/80157890801-578-9020 UT
PACIFIC WEBWORKS, INC
180 S 300 W STE 400
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84101-1224
Merchant Type: SUBSCRIPTIONS
Doing Business As: PW/E AUCTION/801-578-9020
Through a recorded message left in my voicemail on 12/XX/07, I learned that I had purchased an "E/AUCTION SUCCESS E-BAY KIT" that would be mailed to me within 24 to 48 hours; and my account would be charged a fee of $4.95 for Shipping & Handling. At the conclusion of the rather lengthy laudatory/congratulatory "infomercial", I was invited to call: 1+800+497-4988, if I had questions, or needed to confirm the billing address. I immediately called the number, and informed one of their representatives that I had placed no such order. From queries about details surrounding the alleged transaction, I learned that while the address quoted and telephone number (unlisted) were correct, the spelling of my name was not (I usually receive junk mail with the same incorrect spelling); and sensing this as possibly a scam, I didn't bother to correct her. Responding to further questioning, she informed me that it was an "online" transaction charged to my "debit card"; and when questioned about an associated e-mail address, I was provided with a format consisting of a first and last name (not remotely close to mine) followed by the suffix of "yahoo.com". In response to my further query regarding the billing number given, I was advised that only a supervisor could provide me with such data -- and predictability -- none were available. For some reason I doubted the sincerity of her promise (unsolicited) to cancel the charge.
The matter was immediately reported to my bank and credit union, as well as Equifax, with whom I have a monitoring service covering all 3 national credit reporting agencies. Much to my relief, all were devoid of tampering. However, upon reviewing my online American Express account (also used for bill paying), I found three additional unauthorized ("red herrings"?) purchases. The total charges were in excess of $100.00 ... just low enough to avoid triggering a fraud alert. I promptly apprised American Express' Fraud Department, resulting in the card being canceled and a new one issued. Additionally, all charges were waived; and an investigation is underway.
The misspelling of my name notwithstanding, three of the four products, including the CDs from PW/AUCTIONS, were delivered to my address; and promptly returned to the senders as unsolicited and unauthorized merchandise. Oddly, one order contained an invoice, on which appears the last four digits of a credit card that does not match any card in my possession, yet has the same expiration date as my American Express Card. Amazingly, there's also an authorization number.
My PCs are protected by the ultimate in security software; and I'm a stickler for ensuring ongoing monitoring, maintenance and the timely installation of updates. I have zero interest in anything associated with e-Bay ... or any of the other worthless merchandise charged to my account; I'm a very careful online shopper; and moreover, I was out of town on the dates of the transactions.
Checking the Internet, I found numerous cases under Pacific WebWorks, Inc., with the common denominator being an initial unsolicited and unauthorized charge of $4.95 to the consumer's credit or debit card, frequently with subsequent monthly billings of $49.90 or $59.90 by PW/EAUCTION (Subscription), along with problems obtaining a refund.
To be continued....
*** *******, California