Not New, Just Bigger
There have been reports and complaints about Webloyalty and its scam as far back as 2006. Since then, the scam has generated millions of dollars for the discount clubs - and millions of dollars of unwanted and unexpected debt for consumers. In 2006, Webloyalty claimed it made $86 million. By November 2009, Webloyalty, Affinion, and Vertrue made $1.4 billion, according to a federal investigation.
Today, close to 100 online retailers and web sites are part of the scam. Some of them you've known and trusted for years. For example, companies receiving millions of dollars from Webloyalty for being "partners" with that club and letting it use their sites to "enroll" "members" include:
What To Do
First, learn how to recognize the scam and avoid it. If you get an offer for a rebate, coupon, or something else while you're paying for an online purchase, carefully read the offer, including the fine print! You can discover almost immediately if the offer is legit or a scam by doing this.
Next, use a credit that offers fraud protection. This helps you get your money back if you're duped into taking the deal. If you're not sure if your credit card offers this, call the card company and find out. Be careful with debit cards, because some don't offer fraud protection. Don't use automatic withdrawals from your bank accounts. You don't want your banking information in the hands of scammers!
If you accidentally fall for the deal or aren't sure if you have:
- Check your credit card statements carefully. If you see charges for things you didn't intend to buy, call your credit card company immediately and request a refund and cancellation of any scheduled future charges
- Call the number of the retailer listed by the unauthorized credit charge. Demand a refund and ask to be unsubscribed from the club
- File a complaint with your state attorney general
Questions For Your Attorney
- What can I do if my credit card company won't refund charges made to my account by a discount club?
- How can I be sure a discount club has erased my personal information?
- Can membership in a discount club hurt my credit rating?