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Monday, October 20, 2014

Scammed

Do you ever read about people being scammed and think, “that would never happen to me??”  Well, I will admit I do think exactly that when reading about someone falling for a scam such as giving out social security numbers and credit card numbers over the phone.  We are extremely careful about internet shopping, automatic payments, handing out credit information, etc.  And as I wrote in a previous blog, we have our credit frozen to prevent identity theft.  It’s Michael’s job to pay the bills as he enjoys doing it and I don’t.  We use internet banking almost exclusively writing very few paper checks.  But in spite of all this, we’ve been scammed to the tune of over $100. 

Many months ago we received what I thought was an invoice for our subscription to Mother Earth News.

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and promptly sent off a check.  As we were preparing to leave for Alaska with Larry and Geri, I noticed another of these invoices on the desk and paid it, not remembering I had paid another invoice just like it only three months prior.  When we returned from Alaska Michael was glancing through the bank statements and said, “did you intend to pay Mother Earth News $109 in six months??”  WHAT???

The next morning I called Mother Earth News only to find out their mailing list data base had been hacked and many other customers were receiving these bogus subscription notices.  I wonder how many other Mother Earth News subscribers were dumb enough to pay one of these invoices not once but twice???

I started the fight to get my money back with a phone call to the number printed on the back of the invoice.  The idiot (borrowing Rick’s word) informed me I could receive a refund for one of the amounts but not the other one—too much time had elapsed or some sort of nonsense.  Well, of course I wasn’t taking no for an answer.  I filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice, the Oregon Better Business Bureau and I also filed a complaint of mail fraud with the US Government.

Shortly after I was contacted by the Oregon Better Business Bureau I received a refund check for one of the amounts I had mailed.  The Oregon Dept. of Justice has been in contact with the organization and has sent me a copy of the mumbo/jumbo letter from them explaining what their business does and saying “refunds had been issued.” 

I will tell you what this organization does—it steals—it stole the data base and it steals money from clueless people such as myself and keeps that money.  The magazines they claim to represent NEVER see ONE penny of the money they collect.  I can just picture an office full of people receiving checks and laughing all the way to the bank!! Smile

I call these idiots about every other day and have been told by three different people, Michael, Nathan and Wade, that my other check was mailed on September 29—the US mail is slow but it isn’t that slow!!  Today I re-filed my complaint with the Oregon Dept. of Justice and the Oregon Better Business Bureau. 

I hate crooks!!

12 comments:

  1. If they would only put that much effort in to a real job:(

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  2. Why no fraud charges? I sure like your fighting prowess though. No one should be allowed to be taken advantage of.

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  3. I hope you win this fight in the end. Good luck!

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  4. I was scammed once and ended up stranded in Valdez, Alaska, without a ferry ticket back home. :( Never got any money back, but Alaska did tell me they were investigating. That was ten years ago.

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  5. Oh good lord! Mother Earth News of all things! Hope you get this resolved.... Bill & I both do stuff on the net... but I'm the bookkeeper.... I frequently ask him if he's ordered something.... so far we've been lucky.... but, I know...... our time is coming.....

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  6. I am sad this happened. Thank you for sharing with us. What about your bank? Can they do anything?

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    1. The checks were written too long ago for our bank to do anything Betsy--I tried that route too!

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you.

    There was a warning about this scam in a recent (the most recent?) issue of Mother Earth News. I just wish the publishers had taken the time to let people know by mail that this could happen instead of putting it in the magazine.

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  8. Marsha expressed my thoughts exactly - if ME knew about it then why weren't all subscribers notified immediately? Even by snail mail would be better than in their next issue. Still, they are the victim as well as the readers.......just sucks! Glad you didn't just let it go. So many do, not wanting the hassle for $100. It's how the crooks get away with it. With computer skills like that you'd think they could find lucrative, legal employment.

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    1. I did ask Nathan (one of the guys who answers the phone at this place) why he didn't go out and get a real job, one he could be proud of instead of working for a lying, cheating, stealing organization. He didn't have an answer for me!

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  9. I can think of many worse words than "idiots" for these guys but most of them I can't write in a comment! I have to admire your tenacity in going after them as no doubt they count on most people just saying "oh, well, my bad" and forgetting all about it. Good luck with your continuing complaint.

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