Internet Fraud-Unauthorized Charges

UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES BY INTERNET COMPANIES

Federal law prohibits Internet companies from charging consumers’ debit or credit cards without express authorization. Express authorization means that before any company can charge an online consumer’s credit or debit card, the company must obtain the consumer’s credit or debit card number, billing address, and contact information. The company must obtain this information directly from the consumer.

COMMON EXAMPLE OF UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES

While shopping over the Internet, many consumers are tricked into signing up for services or programs that they do not want.

For example, numerous well-known Internet retailers offer consumers a coupon at the end of their purchase transactions. When consumers click on the coupon, they unknowingly agree to join a fee-based membership rewards program. The retailers will then give the consumer’s credit or debit card information to a third-party online marketing company. The marketing company begins charging small amounts, often between $9.00 and $15.00, each month in membership fees to the consumer’s credit or debit card. Because the monthly charges are relatively small, consumers often do not discovery the charges until months, even years, later.

Federal law prohibits this practice and requires third party marketing companies to obtain credit and debit card information directly from consumers before charging their credit and debit cards.

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If you discovered unauthorized charges on your credit or debit cards, contact us for a free consultation.