Judy Kay-Wolff


Although this is primarily a site where the ‘card holders’ are bridge players, this admonition is directed at all individuals who use credit cards.   I am embarrassed to admit I was the target of a scam and wanted to share my experience with you.   My accountant was going over my credit card statement and spotted three repeated monthly charges of $14.95 to innocuous sounding businesses and quite frankly, when the monthly statement arrives, I scan it for unusually high charges and then usually turn it over to Bobby for payment.    At one time we were doing a lot of traveling so the bills were exceptionally high and I paid little attention to the smaller items — that is —  until my accountant asked me what these three separate monthly charges represented ($14.95 times three) in 2008 and changed to ($17.95 times three) in 2009.   I suppose in 2010 it would be raised to $20.95.   I had no clue so I asked him for the telephone numbers beside the names of each company which I could not identify or recall dealing with.    Sometimes a major company does not use the same billing name under which it is known.   In any event, I was dumbfounded after discovering the ruse.

When I spoke to the representative of the first company, she told me I had signed up for some service through a printing company and these were the charges for my receiving discounts.  (Apparently the first company must have been tied in with the other two as she immediately knew to what I was referring).  I was clueless about what precipitated the charges as I had signed up for nothing.   I am not a “gopher” kind of individual and I am very cautious about getting involved with such “sign up schemes.”    Without an argument she told me she would “stop the service” (how kind!) and discontinue the charges (which I never authorized in the first place) and turned me over to her superior.   As soon as I expressed my outrage, she put me on hold and within a couple of moments was rattling off some figures– telling me she was giving me a credit of almost $1200 which would appear on my next statement.  From the tone of her voice, I surmised that I was not the first person who had fallen prey to this triple whammy.    Not taking her word as gospel, I alerted my credit card company, related the story and they are going to contact me when the credit comes through.

It is no doubt just another kind of rip off with everyone trying to make a fast buck in this economy  — and had it not been for an astute accountant, I would never have picked it up.    Being busy 24/7 is no excuse for my carelessness in scrutinizing each charge and felt it would be a public service to share my humiliating experience.   Luckily, mine will have a happy ending as the credit is really ‘found money’ that was temporarily sitting in someone else’s pocket.  Don’t you be the next potential unsuspecting victim!     Take the time to check out EVERY CHARGE!


JodyOctober 15th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

What a happy ending! I have same thing happen twice, only got 2 months back, (9.99 and then 12.99, which alerted me. I never did find out HOW it happened, but it was if , IF I didnt want it, I had to say so!! How when, where and why a mystery. Called Purchase Shield agreement, watch out for it

JUDY KAY-WOLFFOctober 15th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Thanks, Jody. Knowing I was not the only naive subscriber is comforting. Soon as I get credited, I will go on line supplying the missing names. At this time, I don’t want to muddy the waters. However, it is frightening to know this exists and unless you really scrutinize every entry (big or small), the thieves sneak in between the cracks. As you can tell from my blogs, I am not one who believes in taking things (be it tricks or money) to which one is not entitled, so this really got my dander up.



JUDY KAY-WOLFFOctober 22nd, 2009 at 9:37 pm

For your further edification and protection, because I have learned from my credit card company that my account has been credited (in advance) with over $1100, I am releasing the names of the companies who issued the monthly charges (in 2008 – $14.95) and (in 2009 – 17.95). Bear in mind this is times 3 ($44.85/$53.85 per month times 12). They are: (BUSINESS MAX now calling themselves BIZMAX); (SHOPPING ESSEN now calling themselves SHOPESSPLUS); and (TODAYSESCAPES now calling themselves TRAVELMEMBER+). I actually received three $17.95 charges this month which had gone out before I reported the problem, but it was taken care of after the fact. According to the original telephone call to BUSINESS MAX, I was told it was originated from VISTA Print (where I may have ordered labels or business cards — but guarantee you I didn’t sign up for this rip off).

After getting the charges removed, I spoke to my business card’s Fraud Department who will investigate it soon as I return the form they are sending me with requested detailed information. It is important to take an active part in such investigations to protect others who may be (or have been previously unknowingly) scammed.

Riki TikiOctober 23rd, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I too, have had that experience. When calling in to activate a new card I was informed that I now had identity fraud protection. An electronic voice was my informant, who also informed me that I could cancel it when my next bill arrived. I never realized that there was a montly charge for this, as that was never mentioned by the mystery voice. Sure enough the statement arrived and there it was $24.95, which I then cancelled. WATCH THOSE BILLS!!!

wesertKarDecember 12th, 2009 at 7:48 am

Awesome, kinda awesome issue. I’m goin to blog about it as well!!