no. 631 – PSA on SBS Scam

My husband asked me recently what I had to pay for my TypePad account. I told him it was than $50 a year. Why?

He noticed on our credit card statement a $9.95 charge for the past couple of months. The first time saw it he just figured it was something related to my blogging or something for XBoy. But a second time?

I looked at the statement and saw that the charge was associated with "SBS Fun Family Rewards". I had no recollection of signing up for anything so I did some internet searching and just by typing in that string of words, "credit card scam" and "unauthorized" popped up everywhere.

I called the number on our statement and after asking how they acquired our credit card information, I was told that based on an online purchase I made from JCPenney (for some items my Mom took to Jordan to give to her grandkids), somehow I had "agreed" to this program and that an email containing information was sent to us.

I was furious as I always try to make sure to unclick/click those damn default boxes for special offers and emails. In the meantime, Mr. DD saw that the charge went back four statements. I told the rep to cancel the membership and demanded a full refund. When he tried to protest, I countered that he can take care of it now or I can file a dispute through our credit card. He finally confirmed the cancellation and a credit.

SBS (Stonebridge Benefits Services) Fun Family Rewards appears to actually be one of those insurance/benefit providers that tries to piggy back many credit card programs. As I read many complaints posted about both the program and the telemarketers from this company, I wondered how many others are getting charged $10 a month and do not even realize it, or have only filed a complaint and not called to cancel their "membership".

Mr. DD and I pretty much take our statement for granted. I see things that I assume are related to his work and RC Racing and if he doesn’t recognize a purchase, he guesses that it’s related to my shopping/blogging/charity/XBoy purchases.  We’ve agreed to make sure to ask each other every time we see something that doesn’t jive, even if it’s a nominal charge, like this stupid $10 which could have easily turned into $120 because we each assumed the other knew about it.

Look over your statements. And if you know you’ve made one from Penneys online in 2007 or more recently? Be especially wary.