How to protect yourself from 'Negative Option Marketing,' an online scam & rip off!

What is it?

Sometimes, when you buy stuff on-line, you'll see a pop up ad appear just after you've completed the transaction. Watch out! Your natural inclination is to click on the big red X in the top right corner of the box, right? DON'T do it! Doing so could cost you more money than the product you just bought. You may be on the verge of a computer scam.

How it Works

Some on-line retailers, being of the greedy type, and not content to just sell you something, want more. They make deals with on-line scammers so both can fleece you of your money.

According to Greg Ash, of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission: "We often see pop-up ads as a common form of negative option marketing."

With 'negative option marketing', companies take your silence (by not clicking) as acceptance and bill you until you opt-out or cancel. Ash says pop-ups are the newest form of attack by unscrupulous marketers.

"Even hitting that X to close the pop-up signs you up to the service," says Ash.

According to the FTC these sneaky pop-ups appear after you've bought something online. The store is partnered with the marketer and gives them your credit card number. Consumers don't know they're enrolled until they notice the charge. Always check each and every line of your credit card statement each month for charges you do not recognize. COMPLAIN and stick it back to the rip-off artists! Fight back against credit card fraud.

What to do

There are TWO things you can do if you SUSPECT, after buying something on-line, that something fishy is going on, because a pop-up has appeared out of nowhere.

The simplest cure for this, an action that will protect you from 'negative option marketing,' is to press ALT + F4.  
If this is 'geek speak' to you, here is what it means: On the lower left of your keyboard you'll see a key marked 'Alt' (without the quotes). Along the top of your keyboard you'll see a row of keys, all starting with the letter 'F' and a number. These are called 'Function Keys.' To SAVE yourself from trouble and losing your money, press and hold down the Alt key. Now, with it held down, press the F4 key with your other hand. This will close the pop-up and save you from grief.

A second 'cure' is to just reboot. Press the keys Ctrl + Alt + Del and your computer will reboot. This is a little extreme, but it  works.  :)

Good luck !!  Check back on our web site from time to time for GOOD STUFF like this!

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