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You Might Not Be Protected From Fraud

Man accused of defrauding credit card users out of millions.If you think your credit card automatically protects you from fraud and unauthorized charges, keep reading.

If you think it’s hard for an unscrupulous business to take your money, keep reading.

But most importantly, if you think your bank is looking out for you, keep reading.

Earlier this month, the owner of a defunct online retailer was charged with wire fraud after the Department of Justice said he used his customers’ debit and credit card numbers to charge accounts multiple times for unordered merchandise.

We’re talking 70,000 charges totaling $5 million.

Prosecutors allege Daniel Greenberg charged customers of the now-closed Classic Closeouts over and over again for things they didn’t buy, from $59.99 to $79.99 a pop.

When customers disputed the charges, Greenberg said they were valid because those customers had signed up for a “Frequent Shopper Club,” which authorized him to take the money.

And here’s the kicker: The banks and credit card companies believed him.

“As a result of Greenberg’s false representations, some of the victims’ credit card companies and banks declined to issue credits despite the victims’ protests,” according to a DOJ press release, “and certain victims were pressured into paying the fraudulent charges plus late fees and interest.”

Greenberg already settled with the Federal Trade Commission this year.

So take two things from this.

First, check in on your credit cards and bank account online at least a few times a week if not every day to spot fraudulent charges immediately.

And second, be very careful when shopping online and make sure the only thing in your cart at checkout is what you came to buy, not additional services — even if it’s marketed as free.

As we’re learning here, you might really pay for it.

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