Virtual Pickpockets Be Damned!

A new credit card with a new number arrived today so hopefully our experiences with scammers should be at an end. I had the Reservation Rewards situation taken care of and was vigilantly watching that credit card account daily for any other weird charges that might show up. Then, to my great surprise, one did! It was for $99.99 and the vendor was “TLG*NETMARKET.” This sounded just as suspicious as the Reservation Rewards vendor code “WLI*RESERVATIONREWARDS.CO” so I fired off a note to my credit card company telling them that I had not authorized any such purchase and there was no way I was going to be held accountable for it. They put an immediate hold on my account and got me in touch with the fraud department, which credited me for the charge, canceled the card and issued a new one.

We know that the Reservation Rewards charges resulted from a membership. Classmates, for some unfathomable reason, is tangled up with Reservation Rewards and during the Classmates membership signup process, several screens pop up asking you if you want a $10 cash back award for signing up for “Classmates Reservation Rewards.” It is VERY easy to miss the fact that this has nothing to do with signing up for a Classmates membership and that you have to click a “No Thanks” button to proceed without inadvertently signing up for a *Reservation Rewards* membership. A message stating “you are authorizing the secure transfer of your name, address and credit or debit card information to Reservation Rewards for billing and benefit processing” is buried in a long paragraph of text. Following acceptance of this “offer,” the hapless Classmates member is bombarded by a number of email messages from Reservation Rewards. These look a lot like spam and our mothers all told us to delete spam without reading it, right?

I did some searching on the Internet, and found that TLG, also known as Trilegiant and any number of other names, has various ways of snagging people’s credit card info. Here’s a link to someone else’s experience with TLG/Trilegiant and apparently there’s also a class action lawsuit. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a timing coincidence that the TLG*NETMARKET charge appeared within two weeks of getting the Reservation Rewards charges refunded. I can’t help but wonder if the two companies are one and same or related somehow. Otherwise, I have absolutely no idea how TLG/Trilegiant obtained my credit card number.

Am I afraid to buy things over the Internet now? No way! I remember one time my brother noticed some odd charges on his credit card. They were from Indonesia or some place, right Karen? At that time it was possible to buy things on the Internet but not very easy. We all had dial-up and most ecommerce sites were horrible. But in Jim’s case, the charges were traced to a Flint/Grand Blanc area bricks and mortar store clerk who had recorded his credit card information after a purchase.

The important lessons to be learned here are to watch your credit card like a hawk. It’s easy to do if your records are accessible on-line. When you do discover something odd, let your credit card company know *immediately* that you suspect fraud. As for, it would do well to end its relationship with Reservation Rewards.

And finally, if any blogosphere monitors from TLG/Trilegiant or Reservation Rewards are reading this, I’m sorry but you *are* scamming. You are participating in unethical business practices by deliberately designing web pages with confusing interfaces, causing users to click buttons or check boxes that pull them unwittingly into purchasing unwanted “services.” A Google search on either company yields hundreds of links to similar stories. Your blogosphere monitors would be better put to work cleaning up your business practices. There has got to be a better way to make a living.

Hopefully that is my last word on this subject and I’ll be back to posting stuff about dogs and beaches and lake freighters and dead aminals. You know, all the usual exciting stuff. Love, Kayak Woman.

One Response to “Virtual Pickpockets Be Damned!”

  1. Webmomster Says:


    It was upon our return from The Cabin that I found a letter from our Credit Onion giving us the “heads up” about some charges that *they’d* seen that did not look right. I called them on the first business day after that letter and scheduled an appointment to see the person who’d written us. Sure enough, she said, she could tell we were on vacation in the Soo, but there were some charges showing as coming from *Romania* that caught her attention. No, we were not teleporting to Romania, nor were we ordering anything from there (and some other equally bizarre places, like California) while in the Great White North (er, *Sandy* North).

    We looked through the charges and were credited for the incorrect ones, as well as the card number getting canceled and a new one activated immediately.

    You were correct in that it was the local Circuit City that apparently had some dude there who was stealing credit card numbers at that time (in the years before they started running the numbers right at the checkouts) – and got ours when we used it to purchase a digital camera just before going to the Cabin; however, Jim’s approaches to the manager of that particular store resulted in complete denials of any possibility of that happening, without even investigating (or offering to investigate). Arrogant so-and-so!!