Do Not Enter Your Credit Card Information Unless You Want to Be Charged!
You should take extra precautions when entering your credit card information online since the possibility is extremely likely that your information may be compromised or you may get charged even if you don’t purchase something.
This happens often on penny auction websites which ask for your credit card information and charge you for bids at a particular rate. Many things have begun to come to light about penny auction sites and the discrepancies concerning unexplained charges for “Starter Packs” as well as an unknown policy concerning no refunds that have left people bemused.
Risks of Entering Your Credit Card Information
When you enter your credit card information you risk the chance of accruing charges to that card without your knowledge. Granted you can dispute these charges with your credit card company, however this can be a drawn out battle between your credit card company and you. There is always a chance you will have to pay for the charge whether you like it or not and it is always wiser to not provide your information to companies you do not trust.
How to Avoid the Risks of Entering Your Credit Card Information
The easiest way to avoid unexpected charges on your credit card is, of course, to not provide the information to sites you don’t trust. However if you are still interested in purchasing items online, then it is suggested to check for the sites BBB Accreditations. To check to see if the accreditation is valid, click the logo and you should be brought to the companies BBB profile page. If you aren’t redirected to this page then the accreditation is false and purchasing products through this site should be avoided. This is common with most penny auction sites and should always be verified for authenticity to protect you and your information.
Arthur Godfrey had a very bad experience with a relatively unknown penny auction site as reported in this NBC article
Arthur Godfrey of Kissimmee, Fla., was on Facebook recently when he spotted an ad offering “10 Free Bids” on Grabswag.com, a new penny auction site based in Orlando. As part of the registration process, he needed to provide a credit card number.
“As soon as I clicked ‘submit,’ it automatically billed me for $99,” Godfrey says.
When he called the company to complain, the customer service agent said there was nothing she could do for him.
“She said I didn’t read the fine print. And then she hung up on me.”
Risks Involved in Providing Credit Card Information to Penny Auction Sites
There are many risks involved in giving your information to penny auction sites, some of these risks are easily avoidable and could save you a lot of hassles. For instance, some penny auction sites don’t allow you to read their full terms of service agreement, this happens because the page won’t scroll past the first paragraph. Some people however don’t read this information and provide their credit card information anyways, but this is where charges to your card will be explained.
Another risk is unexpected charges applied to your card, many sites charge you money for a certain number of bids that you may use in order to place bids on the auctions. Once you have provided your credit card information, there is nothing stopping the company from using your card to apply charges for these bids.
Although we highly recommend you read everything clearly before entering your credit card details because websites by law have to tell you if you will be charged.
An example from Dealdash:
A few users have registered on DealDash recently, input their cc information on the 2nd page after signing up and then came on here to complain about being charged. The thing with this is the fact that they are buying a bid pack is clearly stated on the page.
On the left side you will see where it says 400 bids – at $0.16 each – $64 – then on the right side a place to input your cc or pay via PayPal. How is it that some users get confused by this page when they are entering a cc in the box?
Ways to Avoid the Risks of Penny Auction Sites
The BBB has a complete list of how to avoid the risks involved in shopping on penny sites with your credit card information. This list includes tips on how to also search for a reputable penny auction site as well to protect you from the unnecessary charges that could occur on other sites. A few of the ways to avoid the risks of getting involved with falsely accredited penny auctions is to first refer to the BBB’s website, you can do this by performing a search or by locating the accreditation logo and following it to the BBB’s website.
Another tip is to watch auctions to see how the site operates, Keep in mind that bids only allow you to make an actual bid on an item, and thus not actually guaranteeing that you will win that item. Another tip that is given by the BBB is to avoid free trials that require a credit card number, personal checks, or money orders as these can also cause issues with unexpected charges and fees.
Read the fine print carefully. Before providing any personal information or signing up for any “free” trial with a penny auction, read all of the fine print carefully on the website. Pay close attention to details on signup and annual fees, minimum bidding requirements, maximum prize amounts and how to get a refund.
It is best to avoid providing information that can be connected to your money with any websites that you don’t trust. If you have done your research and you read the information pertaining to the site from the BBB, and they are properly accredited by the BBB you may be safe, however nothing is 100%. Just be careful online and avoid giving out information that could lead to problems for yourself later down the road.
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