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Beware of dubious online merchants
Tony_B - 9/20/2016 10:09 AM
Category: Ads & Offers
Replies: 11

About a month ago I was in the market for a particular dive bag. I was searching online among the familiar SCUBA gear stores when I came across a site new to me in Cali selling the exact model at an attractive price. The checkout process was normal but I would later recall that it had requested my phone number, and when I didn’t supply it, the order processed fine. I received an email confirmation and my credit card was charged.

Two days later I received an email from the merchant. He wanted my phone number before fulfilling the order. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a merchant demand a phone number as a requirement for a sales contract. So I didn’t give one. And his reply: he canceled my order and credited my card, claiming his fraud department had flagged the order and he wanted to protect my credit card.

I’m glad to not be doing business with this merchant and it’s sad one of our own in the dive community would take advantage of us. Especially one who makes false claims of security on an unsuspecting public.

For those of you who don’t know, phone numbers are not identifying credentials for credit card transactions. There are only three and you are probably already familiar with them: zip code, expiration date, and card verification value (the 3-digit number on the back). These, along with the card number itself, are the only information that banks need to process credit card transactions.

Be careful with any vendor that demands any other information for a sale. Anything else is probably a misuse of your private information.
Barbetos - 9/20/2016 7:20 PM
Most of us do not like those cold calls. And there is something that you can do about it.

Put yourself on the registry, and if you get a telemarketing call after 31 days, you can file a complaint.

The tools are out there, we all must use them.
Eric_R - 9/21/2016 10:19 AM
I like to see how long I can keep telemarketers on the line before they hang up.
WarmWaterTurner - 9/21/2016 1:22 PM
There is a on-line Scuba vendor group in Texas that regularly asks for telephone numbers with purchases. While there surely are those out there that would abuse this information. This particular scuba toys store has called me a number of times after placing an order when they are experiencing either shipping or sizing problems. So as far as customer service is concerned - that is the reason that I have become a loyal customer of theirs. Just a different perspective.
Barbetos - 9/21/2016 1:50 PM
Who might that group be WWT?
WarmWaterTurner - 9/21/2016 3:46 PM
Scubatoys in Carrollton, Texas
Tony_B - 9/21/2016 3:56 PM
I’m a big fan of Scubatoys. Most merchants ask for phone numbers. The one I was talking about demanded it. Wouldn’t fulfill the order without it. That’s worrisome. Think of it this way, a phone number for this merchant was more valuable than the $85 bag I wanted. What were they planning to do with it that would make them more than $85.
Smithsgold - 9/23/2016 4:12 PM
From LatitudeAdjustment: Ditto, if they want to waste my time I can tie them up too, even better if there is a small child available, hand them the phone and say it’s Santa :)

Now that’s Funny !!!!
msauto - 9/25/2016 9:49 AM
Not sure I understand the fraud here? Seems to me if the merchant was fraudulent he would not have given you credit back on your card. It doe’s sound like he wanted to sell your number maybe, or possible area code verification which is used in oklahoma sometimes. But why not just give a fake number with same area code (for verification) and get the product that you wanted at the price you like. Just sayin.
There is so much fraud nowadays it is hard to tell but one things for sure,the thief’s are in it to make money, not return it.