That “local mom” trying to sell you her secret formulas for weight loss and tooth whitening in Internet ads may need to find a new job. Visa cut off payments to 100 merchants. The culled companies were the fine folks behind the “free sample” negative-option scams that Consumerist has written about extensively in the past.
The Associated Press shares the good news:
Visa told The Associated Press that about 100 merchants had their payment processing terminated because of chronic complaints since early summer. The scam is so common, the San Francisco payment processor is teaming up with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau to alert consumers.
Most of the time, the swindlers use Internet ads to lure their customers. The ads often feature unauthorized photos of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray, implying endorsements for supplements like acai berries or teeth whiteners.
Newer variations take advantage of the recession with work-at-home scams, or con people into seeking information about applying for government grants linked to economic stimulus programs.
Well, that’s a start toward driving these scams from the face of the earth.
Visa cuts off 100 merchants for scamming consumers [AP] (Thanks, Kristin!)
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