Saturday, June 16, 2007

Being a victim of Credit Card Scam

When I was going through my detailed bank account statement, I noticed $10 Debit with the description 'wli*shopperdiscount'. I didn't have any clue on how I spent that money on that day, but thought may be it is just my memory issue. Later I saw this repeating every month and I decided to investigate it immediately. But as usual kept postponing till it was 5 months. A simple Google search with 'wli*shopperdiscount' pointed me to a blog post which informed that it is from a company named Web Loyalty and it is possible to get refund by contacting them.

They refunded me $50 they had taken from my account and also explained me how the whole thing happened. Those who are interested in reading this long story, go ahead...

There were hundreds of comments to that blog post, from various people explaining how they got ripped off without their knowledge. Many however mentioned that, they got their money refunded. One comment was from a VP of Web Loyalty asking everyone to contact him for an explanation.

So I wrote the following email to him:

" In my bank statement, I noticed $10 charged every month with a description WLI*SHOPPERDISCOUNT 800. One blog site ( pointed out that this is from your organization and I saw your comment saying that you will help us identify the issue and refund the money I lost.

As far as I remember I have not subscribed for this service. Like others noticed, may be some of the web site I transacted must have sold my CC info to you or must have made me click on an offer without disclosing that I will be charged every month for something that I do not want or know.

My credit card ends at XXXX and I request your immediate action to refund all the money taken from my account. I also request you to provide more information on how this happened, so that I can post those details in blogs and let my friends and families know. I am very much interested and eager to know that how you are going to explain this action as hundreds of people are complaining about this and your web site still claims that its a good business model. As evident from the blog posts, your business model has made many of us to take the decision of not shopping online from the web site from where we got trapped (may be since we didn't read all the fine prints!). "

I got an immediate response as below:

" Thank you for contacting us so that we can address your concerns. 

We are sorry if there was any misunderstanding regarding the membership as we strive to make our offers as clear as possible.   As you requested, we've cancelled the membership and issued you refunds for the 5 monthly membership charges that you incurred.     These refunds should appear shortly in your credit card account depending upon how frequently your credit card issuer posts transactions.  

I will be happy to provide you with details on how the membership was initiated so that your concerns are fully addressed.    I am in the process of collecting those details and will send them to you tomorrow in a separate email.  " 

And few days later another email with attachments showing their offer and email templates:

" As you requested, I am providing you background information on how the Shopper Discounts & Rewards membership was initiated.  

On December 25, 2006, when you completed an online transaction with, you enrolled in Shoppers Discount & Rewards by clicking on a $10 cash back award, entering your email address twice and clicking “YES” on an enrollment button. I've attached the actual page through which you joined. Please note that directly above the section for entering email addresses, the text advises that you are authorizing the secure transfer of your name, address and credit or debit card information to Shoppers Discount & Rewards for billing and benefit processing.   Immediately after accepting the membership offer you were presented with a membership acknowledgement page and within 10 minutes a membership confirmation email with details on how to use the membership was sent to your email address.  These are also attached for your review.    

We sent you seven more emails from January 2, 2007 through May 24, 2007 with details of the membership.   The one that was sent to you on January 11, 2007 informed you that your 30-day free trial would end in 14 days and that you would be billed unless you cancelled your membership.   If you would like me to send you copies of these emails, just let me know.  

I hope this helps to clarify how the membership was initiated and why you were charged the membership fees.   Please contact me at if you have suggestions for improving our service or to further discuss this matter.  "

I verified my email archives and found this claim to be true. Now I remembered that I had clicked on some offer that appeared as harmless without actually reading the details.

By this time they had refunded my $50 as 5 different transactions of $10.

So now you know the whole story! And one of the comment to another blog post with this issue from a person claimed to be WebLoyalty employee says it all...

"WebLoyalty depends on idiots like you to NOT notice this stuff. To be blinded by the idea that you are getting something for “free”. To not look at your credit card statement so charges go through every month. Its unbelievable the amount of dummies out there that fall for this stuff. Even if you do catch the charges eventually, and get a refund they still made money off of you by collecting interest on your money when they had possession of it."


  1. Moral of the story -
    Oooosinu kitttiyaaal ACIDum kodikaruthe.

  2. ACID kodichalum label noki kudikyanam...specially fineprints

  3. We'd love to get your feedback. We recently started a poll on the Worst and Best Credit Card Issuers. Feel free to stop by and give us your opinion.

  4. Recently I got this:
    From: Federal Court Ordered Notice (webmarketing at
    Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:22:36 AM
    Subject: Federal Court's Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement. Please Read.

    In Re, Inc. Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation,
    MDL Case No. 07-01820-JLT, Lead Case No. 06-11620-JLT (USDC, District of Massachusetts)



    This email is a summary of the full Notice that is available on the Settlement website at:

    You may be eligible to receive compensation from a proposed class action settlement if you enrolled in or were a member of WLI's Reservation Rewards, Shoppers Discounts & Rewards, Members Specials, Buyer Assurance, Distinctive Privileges, PC Protection Plus, Travel Values, Travel Values Plus, Classmates Rewards, and/or Wallet Shield program (collectively, the "Programs") from September 11, 2000 through September 30, 2008.

    A federal court has directed that this Notice be sent to inform you of a proposed class action settlement. Records show that you were enrolled in or were a member of one or more of the Programs identified above from September 11, 2000 through September 30, 2008. The "Settlement Class" or "Class," however, shall not include: (1) those consumers who both were residents in the United Kingdom and enrolled in a Webloyalty International, Ltd. program, (2) those consumers who received a complimentary Program membership, and (3) those WLI employees who were members of a Program for purposes of fulfilling their job functions.

    The Settlement will resolve a lawsuit in which claims are made that WLI, et al. (the "Defendants"), among other claims, failed to disclose Program enrollment details regarding monthly billing and transfer of billing information causing consumers to enroll in Programs without full consent in violation of state and federal law. Defendants deny any wrongdoing and the Court has not decided the merits of these allegations. The parties have agreed to settle and provide benefits to Class Members in exchange for a release of claims by Class Members arising out of any of the allegations in the lawsuit or Class Members' membership and/or enrollment in the Programs.

    To determine if you are a Class Member eligible to receive compensation and to obtain a full Notice of the proposed Settlement, which includes the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit You may also obtain the full Notice by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-571-1765, sending an email request to the Settlement Administrator at webmarketingsettlement at, or writing the Settlement Administrator, c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., P.O. Box 9265, Dublin, OH 43017-4665.

    If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member you have rights, obligations and options under the proposed Settlement. You have until May 29, 2009 to make certain decisions and until September 2, 2009 to file a Claim Form. Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not.



    Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form can receive a cash settlement payment in an amount equivalent to the cost of up to two months' membership in each Program for which they were enrolled. Defendants will pay a Settlement Cash Amount up to ten million dollars ($10,000,000). If the amount of the claims submitted exceeds this amount, the amount of each individual cash settlement payment will be reduced proportionately so it does not exceed the maximum. The Settlement also provides for comprehensive remedial changes in the manner of enrollment in the Programs and the information provided to consumers concerning their enrollment and membership in the Programs.

    The cost of Settlement notice, administration costs, and attorneys' fees and expenses will be paid by WLI separate and apart from the Settlement Cash Amount. These costs will in no way reduce the benefits available to Settlement Class Members from the Settlement Cash Amount.

    The Claim Form also gives you the opportunity to cancel memberships in any of the Programs. A Claim Form may be obtained on-line at, by calling 1-888-571-1765 or by sending a written request to the Settlement Administrator, c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., P.O. Box 9265, Dublin, OH 43017-4665. Your Claim Form must be postmarked no later than September 2, 2009. For more information regarding the eligibility requirements and the Settlement benefits, you may visit Please do not contact the Court.


    This is the only option that allows you to bring your own lawsuit against the Defendants for the same types of claims alleged in this matter. Your request for exclusion must be mailed to the Settlement Administrator and postmarked on or before May 29, 2009. The full Notice, available at, explains how to exclude yourself. Please do not contact the Court.


    If you do not exclude yourself, you can write the Court and mail a copy to the Settlement Administrator and one of Class Counsel about why you do, or do not, support the proposed Settlement or any of its provisions or about speaking to the Court about the fairness of the proposed Settlement. The Court will hold a hearing on June 30, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. to determine whether the Settlement should be finally approved. Your objection or comments must be filed with the Court and served on or before May 29, 2009. You can also attend this hearing, but you do not have to. The full Notice, available at, explains how to object or comment on the proposed Settlement and the procedures you need to follow if you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing.


    If this proposed Settlement is approved, you will automatically be included in the Settlement Class and give up your right to be part of any other lawsuit regarding the same issues raised in this Litigation, and you will not be eligible to receive compensation from the Settlement unless you submit a Claim Form.


    On June 30, 2009 at 12:00 p.m, a hearing will be held in Courtroom 22, 7th floor, of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02210. The purpose of the hearing is for the Court to decide whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved. The Court will also decide whether a final judgment should be entered dismissing this lawsuit, and the amount of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses and incentive awards to the Settlement Class Representatives. This hearing may be postponed without further notice.

    To get complete information about the proposed Settlement, copies of the full Notice and Claim Form as well as the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit, call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-888-571-1765 or send an email to Do not contact the Court.

    Please do not reply to this message. We are unable to respond to inquiries sent in reply to this email. To contact us, please access the official Settlement website at