Curran To Consumers: Be Wary of New "Buying Club" Scam Utilizing Clever Mailings
Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and his Consumer Protection Division are warning consumers across the state about a new scam that uses clever mailings to financially trap consumers into a costly, unwanted membership in a buying club.
The scam often begins with an offer of "thanks" at the conclusion of a previous transaction with another company, whereby the purchaser is offered two free airline tickets and a trial membership in a discount buying club (perceived to also be free). That offer is followed by the mailing of a letter and buying club membership card with promises of huge discounts on everything from travel to televisions to furniture. The letter also says that their credit card number (which the company already has obtained without the consumer's knowledge) will be charged for the membership fee ($72.00) unless they call to cancel within 30 days. When any of the consumers who contacted us tried to call the company to cancel, it was difficult or impossible for them to get through to anyone. Many also do not recall ever receiving such an offer when making other purchases and were upset to learn that the company had obtained their credit card number.
In addition to conducting an investigation into such practices, Attorney General Curran wishes to provide unsuspecting consumers with these tips: