Predatory Capitalism Alert: Watch Out for These Credit Card Scams
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The other day Digby wrote about a scam by Bank of America, where they switched the monthly bill's envelope to look like junk mail, so people threw it away, and they collect million upon millions in late fees.
The plain brown envelope looked like it was one of those car dealership "checks" that were all the rage before the credit crisis hit. And because I didn't realize the first month that I hadn't gotten my bill, it created a black mark on my credit for a late payment which resulted in a cascade of raised rates on several cards.
It was clearly a sneaky trick. ... And that's what people are dealing with all the time as consumers, with their health insurance, their credit cards, their mortgages, their pensions -- overwhelming complexity designed to trip them up and cost them money or deny them benefits to which they believed in good faith they were entitled. And its all perfectly legal -- or at least there's no visible accountability for it.
Me, too! Chase ran a scam on me but I didn't realize it was just a scam until I was talking with someone else and found out exactly the same thing happened to her. I had automatic payments set up so any balance was paid out of my checking account. (I never, ever, ever, ever carry a balance on credits cards. And you should never, ever, ever do that either.)
They stopped the automatic payments, and charged me late fees.
I fought it, and filed a complaint with the Fed, and when I got them to reverse the late fee, they applied a fee reversal fee! That card is long gone.
So how many of you got socked by AOL, where you couldn't get them to stop charging your card? How many have been hit by other scams? How about cell phone scams, like Verizon's various scams -- VCast when you didn't want it, or the deal where they put the key for "Get It Now" or "Mobile Web" where you accidentally hit it all the time, and they charge you each time?
Predatory capitalism is the name of the game, and it is the game of the country.
But it's a year after the election and still nothing is getting done about any of this big-corporate corruption! Democrats have a huge opportunity to demonstrate that they are on the side of regular people -- but just enough corrupt Democrats in the Senate are joining with the totally-corrupt Republicans to keep anything from getting done.