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Report: #366270

Complaint Review: Advance Telecom Inc. - Internet

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Urbana Illinois
  • Advance Telecom Inc. http://www.iTunesNet.com Internet U.S.A.

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When I went to sign up for an Apple iTunes music store account to purchase music, this website (http://www.iTunesNet.com) appeared at the very top of the Google search results for "iTunes." The title for this Google search result is "iTunes 2009 - Download." Not immediately realizing that this wasn't an official Apple site, I clicked through when it offered a "3 year Unlimited VIP Membership and 1 Extra Feature" for $ 49.96. At this time I was unaware that the Apple iTunes music store doesn't charge membership fees.

I went ahead and clicked, charging $ 49.96 to my PayPal account. But after doing this, the only thing that appeared was a click box to download the Apple iTunes music player software. At this point I began to suspect that I had been ripped off, since I already knew that the Apple Tunes software itself is free.

I immediately filed a dispute with PayPal. I am now awaiting a response from either "Advance Telecom Inc." or from the PayPal dispute resolution department. From reading other complaints about 'Advance Telecom Inc." it appears that they sometimes offer refunds when PayPal users complain about them. I will follow-up with an update to this ripoff report if I do receive a refund.

What amazes me is that two of the largest companies on the Internet, Google and PayPal, both seem to be totally comfortable supporting these rip-off artists.

The Google link (http://www.iTunesNet.com) is in fact a "sponsored link" but one would think that Google would have SOME standards for who they deal with as customers. I have attempted to find a way to complain to Google about this, but have not succeeded yet.

PS, there is another "Google sponsored link" for iTunes that also comes back to this same "Advanced Telecom Inc." company (http://www.iTunesNo.com). The headline is "Tunes 7.7 - Downloads" and again appears as a "Google sponsored link"

I suspect that this company frequently changes their URL and/or advertising to keep ahead of any attempts to suspend them from the Internet.

My advice is to ONLY visit iTunes sites which are actually run by Apple computer themselves. FYI, the "real" iTunes site is "http://apple.com/itunes." However, thanks to the way Google arranges their search results, this site will be the second or third item down from the top on the Google search results for "iTunes"

-Greg

Greg
Urbana, Illinois
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/24/2008 04:42 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/advance-telecom-inc/internet/advance-telecom-inc-fake-itunes-website-internet-366270. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#2 Author of original report

More fake iTunes download sites: www.itunessa.com and www.clickbank.com

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, August 25, 2008
Today I found a new site which charges a hefty $ 47.76 to download a free copy of Apple iTunes.

I was not able to determine whether this site is run by "Advance Telecom Inc." From what I can tell, I think this site may be run by someone else. It seems to be associated with a company called "Clickbank" who has the following websites:

www.clickbank.com
www.filechampion.com

These sites accepts payment by either credit card or PayPal.

I experimented by attempting to click through JUST TO THE POINT of authorizing a PayPal purchase. But before clicking to make the purchase, I closed the browser page. Here's where the fraud kicks in: I wound up having my PayPal account getting charged $ 47.76 anyway, even though I never made the final "click" to authorize the actual purchase.

I have filed another dispute with PayPal, and I expect that I will (again) get a full refund almost immediately. I suspect that all of these companies operate about the same way.

What I don't understand is why PayPal and Google permit this sort of thing to continue. I'm sure they could shut most of it off if they really tried. Apparently the perpetrators of these frauds stay "just within the boundaries" by quickly refunding every customer who files a dispute. But I'm sure that not everyone who gets victimized actually files a dispute, so I'm sure a lot of money is still being made from these scams.

I will update this report again when/if I get a refund. After that I think I will be more careful about my experiments. I don't want to have any more fake stuff charged to my PayPal account. My new rule will be to STOP clicking when such a site asks me to log into my PayPal account. It worries me that these sleazy operators are getting thousands of PayPal passwords and credit card numbers. Even if people like me are successfully getting refunds, their personal information still might be getting compromised. I have changed my PayPal password just in case.
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#1 Author of original report

Advance Telecom Inc. fake iTunes website: Full refund received

AUTHOR: Greg - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, August 25, 2008
It took only 2 days to receive a full refund of my $ 49.96 from PayPal. Unfortunately, the issuance of this refund "closes" my dispute with PayPal. This means I have no easy way to advocate directly with PayPal to suspend "Advance Telecom Inc." from being a PayPal user. What I'm thinking is that "Advance Telecom Inc." has a policy of immediately refunding whenever a "customer" of theirs complains. But, they are still getting to KEEP the money from perhaps thousands of people who are less persistent or perhaps are unfamiliar with using the Internet. Interestingly, searching for "itunes" today on Google brings up ONLY the the genuine Apple Computer website (www.apple.com/itunes). So, perhaps Google is becoming aware of the potential fraud and has barred "itunes-related" advertisements from "Advance Telecom Inc." for at least a few days. I intend to try to find a way to communicate directly with Google over this issue, but still have not found any easy way to do this. I will also keep checking the Google search results for "itunes" and will post a follow-up if I see anything that seems to be related to "Advance Telecom Inc." In conclusion, my advice is to look carefully for the name "Advance Telecom Inc." whenever making an Internet purchase (especially software downoads). If you see the words "Advance Telecom Inc." anywhere on the page, DO NOT COMPLETE the transaction. Note that the PayPal page I received before completing my transaction DID SHOW the name (Advance Telecom Inc.), although it was in rather small print. So, if I had been a bit more observant, I could have stopped before approving the PayPal payment to them. At least I have received a full refund!
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