SMS service thieves

Wow, two scams in one night.

On Deb’s most recent cell phone bill, there were two charges for SMS based services, neither of which she signed up for:

Mobile Messenger
SendMe, Inc.

If you search for these two companies, you will find a ton of fraud alerts about them.  How is it that they keep getting away with this?  Obviously they are making money, despite the states that sue them and get settlements from them.

Perhaps the governments should make it a point not to settle, but to put these thieves out of business and put the owners in jail?

We are pretty positive that these services got Deb’s phone number from Facebook, so be careful out there!  Of course, to verify your account, you must provide your cell phone # to Facebook, maybe we should all go remove it from our Facebook accounts – something I’m going to go do right now…

NAITPA and an invoice scam?

I just received a letter from NAITPA sending me my membership card, and thanking me for my support.  I have a membership number, a receipt number and a due date on this nice letter.  They also include a handy payment stub for my $231.00 annual payment along with my membership card.

What’s interesting is that until now, I’d never heard of them.  The mailing sure looks like a statement, and it doesn’t include any marketing materials to help educate me about their site / organization, so I guess I’m supposed to assume that I just pay them and “continue” my membership.

This has all the appearances of a scam.  If you look on the back, there is a disclaimer:

“By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold NAITPA liable for any part thereof.  Note: THIS IS NOT A BILL.  This is solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the NAITPA…”

So there we have it.  These people are up there with those that send you invoices for copier supplies, even though you don’t have a copier.  Also, in the disclaimer, they state that you agree not to hold NAITPA liable for any part thereof – I think this means that they are saying that you have no recourse if they don’t provide any of the services they claim to offer. 

On the payment stub, it has another disclaimer that “my membership is NOT transferable and NOT refundable", but on the disclaimer side they say that “you may request a refund within 30 days”.  Yup, sure you can.  Doesn’t mean they have to give it to you.

Finally, while there web site says “After another successful year…”, checking on the Internet shows that their domain was registered on February 11, 2009.

For all I know, NAITPA might be a legitimate organization, but it has many signs of being fake.

Heh, at the end of writing this post, I used Bing (Google found nothing other than their web site) to search them, and found this other post: http://empoprise-bi.blogspot.com/2009/08/naitpa-professional-association.html

If you want a real organization, check out the Association for Computing Machinery.