Have you whipped out the credit card to purchase games and other items from GameStop, Staples, or other online retailers? If the answer is yes, then there's a good chance that sacred number was forwarded to a third party without your consent. This latest investigation conducted by the state of New York could indicate that legitimate businesses can be just as untrustworthy as online scam artists using scareware.
According to MSNBC, the New York State Attorney General's office is issuing subpoenas to 22 online retailers-- including the two previously mentioned-- to determine how the companies share sensitive customer data to 3rd parties. Currently the companies in question have not been charged with any crimes, however New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has already subpoenaed records from three marketing companies that have "amassed through fraud" over $1 billion a year.
Cuomo said in this news release that the accused retailers are tricking customers into accepting offers from other companies by way of pop-up ads disguised as discount offers. After clicking on the "coupon," customers are taken to an external site where they're already signed up for credit card protection service, a buying club, or some other money-leeching service. The consumer's personal and credit card information is already provided by the original retailer, thus consumers are charged from $100 to $145.
"This online scheme has impacted the finances and tried the patience of tens of millions of consumers nationwide,” he said. "Well-known companies are tricking customers into accepting offers from third party vendors, which then siphon money from consumers’ accounts."
Scary stuff... time to go back to cash.