Tag Archives: credit card

Scammers who steal again and again

Readers have reported to me that the following companies/offerings not only scammed them once, but retained their credit-card data and continued to use it month after month for more bogus charges:

If you have ever given your credit-card data to these companies, regardless of whether you got a refund, I urge you to act quickly to protect yourself.

  1. Call your credit card issuer.  Ask for their Fraud Division.
  2. Ask them to reverse the charges by these companies, and any other charges you didn’t authorize.  Be suspicious of small, recurring charges with obscure descriptions.
  3. Ask them to block the credit card, and to issue you a card with a different number.
  4. You will need to move any legitimate scheduled and automatic payments from the old card to the new one.
  5. If you created an online account on the scammer’s website, and you’ve used the same password on other sites, change your passwords on those sites.

Complaining to the scammer is risky.  It only gives them more time to steal from you.  Keep in mind that a scammer is a criminal posing as a legitimate business, and act accordingly.

If you’re finding bogus charges in your statement from a company that you never did business with, you may choose to first investigate who they are and try to work with them.  But if they aren’t legit you should follow the same advice.  In this case, they’ve probably obtained your credit card data from the black market as the result of a mass hack such as the recent Target incident.  Or someone else may have bought your credit card data and is using it to make purchases from legitimate businesses.

Typical reports:

This is a SCAM. Once they have your card number, you get monthly small charges (clearly they hope to slip under the radar) – mine have been 8.99,8.95, 15.95, all under different names (RibbonGoods, GlobalInv). If you call, they claim you purchased a membership in a discount club. No I didn’t. The first month, I called and they refunded those charges as well as my “membership”. The bank said they couldn’t do anything about it the first month since the charges hadn’t “gone through” yet – and yet they held that amount of money “hostage” while waiting. They did NOT cancel anything – 2 more months of small charges to differently named companies. Supposedly they are refunding these again and supposedly cancelled my membership again. Changing my card number.

We were scammed too. Taking money from our account without our permission because we were APPARENTLY part of the elite shipping club. They said they never got our emails because it was apparently a Do Not Reply customer service email (never said that on the email). What kind of customer service has a do not reply? Trashy company – stay away!

I did not order Falcon flashlights and have never received any. However, there are three recurring charges on my bank card. I have tried to contact them, number us not valid. A recording says they’re not taking anymore orders or servicing previous ones. How do I stop the recurring charges Thank you


To victims of the LUX HD450 phone lens scam


danger-theftAre you a victim of LUX HD450?  If so, I am truly sorry.

I’ve received hundreds of replies and comments about my posts like this one covering LUX HD450 phone lenses.  My posts warn people that the lenses are crummy, and that the company steals from buyers’ credit card accounts.  Still, among the replies are several that have mistaken me for the LUX HD450 company.  Here is how I’ve been answering them.

I am just a blogger and reviewer; I have no connection to the lens company. I only posted some articles about them. So I can’t do anything about your order. Sorry!

How to contact LUX HD450:
Lux HD450
2658 Del Mar Heights Rd #368
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA
Phone: 1-844-220-5101
International Returns Address:
PO Box 7574
Milton Keynes, MK119GQ, UK
Email: support@luxhd450.com
France: soutien@luxhd450.fr
Germany: kundendienst@luxhd450.de

My advice is:

  1. You can try calling the company.  But beware; they may try to trick you into waiting until you can’t get your money back from your credit card issuer.  They may tell you promises and lies, such as fake shipment tracking numbers.  
  2. Refuse to accept any packages you receive from the company, and return them unopened.
  3. Call your credit card issuer’s fraud department, and request that their charges be reversed and your card blocked. Request a new credit card.
  4. You’ll have to move any scheduled or automatic payments that you’ve set up on your old card over to the new card yourself.

I know from personal experience that changing credit cards is a huge nuisance. But I think this is the quickest, surest way to free yourself from a credit thief.  Some readers have also forced LUX HD450 to refund their money by complaining to the state attorney general or the Better Business Bureau.  The FTC has posted advice on how to report online fraud.

If you still want this type of lens, you can safely buy similar ones on Amazon. You’ll see a variety of products there; pay attention to the customer reviews, most of which are honest.

Here are some more detailed suggestions for getting your money back.


I took this photo with an iPhone 6.

Now, a bit of straight talk about taking better pictures.  Putting different lenses on any camera can be fun. Keep in mind, tho, that you can’t make your phone into a better camera by clipping a lens to it.  A photographer could explain why, and probably tell you more than you wanted to know.  Put simply, that would be like making hamburger into prime rib by putting steak sauce on it.  The sauce may make the hamburger more fun to eat, but it’s still hamburger.

Photography is an art.  With a little effort and guidance, you can learn to do it well enough to enjoy yourself and create nice pictures that people will admire–even with just your phone.  As you learn more, a better camera can become a great tool.  But a better camera won’t by itself make you a better photographer.

Several other web scammers are following in LUX HD450’s path.  The above advice also applies to customers of HD360x and HDFX360.