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.