Budget: Cash This Check And You'll Be Enrolled In A Service You Don't Want

Reader Larry writes in with a complaint about a commonly used “scam.” We call it a “scam” because we believe it’s misleading and designed to take advantage of people who do not read things carefully, but you judge for yourself. Here’s how it works:

  • A company you’ve done business with partners with a company that offers some sort of service. Life insurance. Coupons. Whatever.

  • The company you’ve done business with solicits your enrollment in the service by sending you a check that, if cashed, automatically enrolls you.

  • After the “risk-free” month (or whatever), you are charged for the service via whatever credit card they company has on file for you (or whatever). It is possible that you did not understand that by cashing the check you were enrolling in a pay service, but since you agreed to be enrolled by cashing the check, all you can do is nicely ask for a refund.

Larry has scanned an example for us. If you see these checks, we recommend destroying them.