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Screwed

Back in October, I found a charge on my credit card for $340. The merchant was listed as GOOGLE*ADS4756092809. I didn’t recognize the charge, so I called the CC company and reported fraud. They cancelled my card, and I had to wait two weeks for another one.

I got a letter today that the investigation is complete, and the merchant (Google) has confirmed that it is a valid charge. That letter had a phone number on it, so I called.

The reason that the charges were considered valid, according to the woman on the phone, is that I provided no supporting documentation, and the merchant did provide some.

My first question was how I am supposed to provide documentation of a charge that I had no knowledge of. She didn’t know.

So I tried a different approach. I asked what documentation the merchant provided. She didn’t know that either. She said that I would have to contact the merchant directly.

So I asked for the merchant’s phone number. She didn’t know that either. She then unhelpfully suggested that I contact the Google Advertising Department and gave me that number.

I asker her what my options are. All I can do is refuse to pay it, and if I do so, the credit card company will cancel my credit card, then report the delinquent amount to my credit record, with interest each month. They will put a note on there that I dispute it, but that means nothing. My credit will still be trashed.

So next, I called Google Ads. The person who answered the call told me that they can’t release any information on the account, because I am not the account holder. I tried using the automated system, and all I know is that the account was suspended for violating Google’s terms of service.

It looks like I am going to have to pay this. I could call a lawyer and sue, but that would cost me more than just paying it, with no guarantee that I would win anything. I have no other recourse. I don’t even know what this charge is for, who it was paid to, or how they got my CC number, but I am just screwed out of $340.

8 replies on “Screwed”

Call back the CC company and escalate. IE ask for their supervisor. The squeeky wheel, usually, gets oiled. Go up the ladder until you get resolution in your favor. If needed ask them about consumer protection options.

Oh, and if the CC website has any social media input links, post a negative review. That got a prompt response and resolution for us after getting dead ended with a financial company issue. Apparently the soc media reviews went automatically upchain.

10 years ago I worked bank card fraud for a multi-state bank. Your bank card issuer is not doing you any favors so you may want to find a new credit union or other bank, regardless of the outcome. The documentation that they are requesting you provide is generally a signed Affidavit of fraud. Not sure if you completed and returned such a statement or not. Regardless, call the card issuer back, state fraud (again) and advise them that you will be escalating this to your State Attorney General as well as state banking regulators and the local branch of the FBI as Interstate wire fraud if this is not resolved. Good luck.

Please fight this as shown above and keep us posted of resolution. If someone can steal that much from you without any recriminations, they will do it again.

Scammers can also target you through your phone number, getting your phone company to add a charge to your bill.
As stated above, make a police report, and use a copy with the report number when you file an affidavit of fraud with your bank and credit card company / division, then Atty General, FTC, State banking regulators, etc.
Hope you find a good resolution

you been out to eat recently and used that card?…that’s probably what happened…or your card number is on the dark web and someone used it…

I’d keep trying with the credit card company. Most customer service is outsourced to barely coherent reps in Hyderabad or Manila. The $200/week Csrs latch on to the first thing they hear and read from a script. They usually have to resolve the call in five minutes or their stats are impacted. That’s why you’ll get hung up on if you have a complicated issue. Try to get escalated to a manager. They ‘ll get tired of you and resolve the issue.

Find your state consumer protection department and work with them.

No joke the CC has to respond legally to the state in a short time frame and they will get the attention of the CC quickly.

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