Raspberry Ketone Strength Scam?

I’m writing this hoping other people will come forward with similar stories. (Don’t forget to read the important updates at the end of this post. Additionally, I’ve written out a strategy that will likely help track these scammers down faster.) On 9/16/2014, Josh, a former agent at the “customer service company” at the center of this scam responded.

Yesterday, 8/13/2014, I logged in and checked my credit card statement like I do routinely. I noticed an odd authorization for $49.95 from 888-368-0967.com. This was suspicious because I did not recently buy anything for $49.95 and had never heard of that company.

Visiting the site did not help either. It appears to be a third party site that provides the customer service and, apparently, billing for other websites online.

So I called the number and ended up speaking to two different customer service representatives, who were both very friendly. After explaining the charge appearing out of nowhere on my credit card I was asked to provide a few digits from my credit card number. I did that and my name was verified by them. Kind of weird that my real name was associated with that number in their database but whatever.

I was told that yes, a $49.95 charge was placed on that card on 8/10/2014. (It must have taken a few days to transfer over to my credit card company.) They told me that the Raspberry Ketone Strength vitamins would be arriving shortly.

Woah! Hold on there. Raspberry ketones? I even had to have the rep spell it out for me because he had a slight accent and that’s something you don’t hear in everyday conversation. What the heck are those? I have never even heard of them, let alone buy them!

I then asked him to give me the shipping address. I was planning on giving this information to the credit card fraud department to hopefully catch the criminal. Weirdly enough the agent proceeded to give me my own address! What craziness is this? Why would someone order these weight-loss “vitamins” in my name, using my credit card number, and then ship it to my actual address?

It doesn’t make any sense. If my card number was auto-generated and then used for this purchase, why would my real name and address be used? Wouldn’t the thief want the product shipped to his own address or at least a PO Box that he could secretly pick it up at? Seems like a lot of work just to pick up a 2-month supply of this stuff.

The first customer service representative I spoke with told me that he’d cancel the order. He offered no explanation of how or why this charge happened in the first place since “[they] are only a third-party.” I told him that regardless of canceling the order I still would be talking to my credit card company to dispute the charge.

Next, I did call my credit card company and reported what I described above. Their agent said that she saw the charge and noted that it was allowed to go through because the name and shipping address matched what they had on record for me. She said that my call was documented and that I could dispute the charge if the billing company did not cancel it themselves.

Then I realized that maybe the criminal used a different email address so that he could watch the shipment tracking and possibly intercept the package when it arrived at my door. I called the billing company back and spoke with a second customer service representative.

This new guy told me that they only had my name and address (and credit card number) on record but that there was no associated email address. Dang, there goes that theory! He then said that my product would be arriving in only a few days.

What? I thought the last guy canceled it! Turns out my auto-renewing account was canceled but that the product was still on the way! That was not what I wanted. The rep then told me that when I received the package and did not want it I could send it back with the RMA number he was about to give me. I was not going to do that. I told him that I’d be refusing the package and would dispute the charge with my credit card company regardless. I did not want to deal with an RMA number.

He then talked to his supervisor who did authorize a refund of the $49.95 charge. Supposedly that could take up to 5-10 business days. I also received a cancellation number. Seems fairly legit. I’ll closely be watching my credit card statement for that refund and will be updating this post with any new development.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar?

I’m at loss for an explanation. The Raspberry Ketone Strength website and terms and conditions isn’t helpful. There’s no contact information other than the number for the third party billing company. The only company name is listed as “Puerto Quellon LP.”

A quick Google search of that name does, in fact, bring up something similar. There’s a single recent mention of an entry on Ripoff Report describing a company trying to charge someone a monthly $49.95 to his bank card, which is directly connected to his checking account. (At least in my situation it goes through my credit card, which has better fraud/dispute resolution.)

This guy feels that the Puerto Quellon LP company must have gotten his details from his Amazon account.

I have bought a number of things recently from third party sellers (which were managed through Amazon). Everyone of them has good reviews and the products arrived correctly and in good condition.

The only thing that I can think of is that this Raspberry Ketone Strength company aka Puerto Quellon LP has fraudulently charged my credit card themselves. Not as many people go to the extreme that I have in tracking them down. Scamming the credit card companies out of a little money here and there might be their business model. Maybe the $49.95 charge is too small for the credit card companies to spend the time and money to pursue? This is all just entirely speculation, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Update (8/17/2014): Just checked my credit card statement and the billing company I called did keep their word. The $49.95 charge has been credited back to the account. I’ll be watching my credit statement even closer for the next few months because this does still seem kind of fishy.

Update (8/28/2014): I did a Google search and found another website discussing the exact same thing.

Also, an article from none other than the Cosmopolitan UK describes how people in the UK are finding it very difficult to cancel their trial of the product once they order it. There was an email address listed at the end of the article for victims to email in order to stay apprised of any potential court proceedings. I’ll post updates here if I hear back.

Update (9/2/2014): Andrew suggested that the scheme involves setting up a fake merchant account using stolen credit card information. What happens is that the relatively small charge is cleared by your bank because the name and address are correctly provided. Then, if you happen to notice the charge and call to cancel, the money is refunded. This sounds okay, but this actually allows the scam to keep going. What should be done instead is to keep the charge on the account, dispute it and get the chargeback, allowing the bank’s fraud department to track it down. Once more people do this, then the appropriate authorities will shut them down. Thanks, Andrew!

Update (9/11/2014): Thanks to everyone that has commented so far. Hopefully this blog and comments have been helpful in clarifying this scam and, if nothing else, letting other people know that they are not alone in this. In the comments Patricia has posted a good email that she is using to alert her friends. People have also been contacting various news agencies. Paul suggested contacting the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).

I’d also like to suggest a new strategy:
Many of us have actually, believe it or not, had success in calling the 888 number (the “third party” billing company) and asking for a refund. Now that I have read through the advice of commenters who deal with this kind of stuff in their professions, I think the strategy should be to not ask for a refund. As Andrew said (see 9/2/2014 update above), this only legitimizes them and allows them to keep the scam going. Instead, we should cancel the card and dispute the charge with our credit card company or bank. That way the big banks and their fraud departments will be the ones scrambling to find these scammers. As soon as we dispute the charge the $49.95 will be deposited back into our account since we have zero liability.

Update (9/16/2014): Please see the comment by Josh. He is a former employee of this “customer service company” and describes how the scam works. Very interesting and informative comment. He sounds like a great resource! Thanks for the message, Josh!

259 thoughts on “Raspberry Ketone Strength Scam?

  1. Matthew

    Hi there, I came across your blog entry through a Google search, and wanted to mention that I literally just this minute had the absolutely identical experience as you, except that the 888 number on my card statement was different. In my case, they identified me and the item in question via my last name and zip code because I refused to give them any part of my credit card number without knowing exactly who they were. The pleasant young woman I spoke to said she has cancelled all FUTURE orders, and put me on hold for a few minutes to get me a refund for the fraudulent $49.95 charge, also giving me a cancellation number but stating that it would take 7-10 business days for the transaction to be processed, but I will be visiting my bank on Monday to see what can be done from their end. (It didn’t occur to me until reading your post that part of their scam might be that they ship the vitamins anyway as an excuse to keep the $49.95.) I was thinking of asking the bank to issue me a new card with a different number, but that might mess up getting the refund, so I’ll hold off. If you Google raspberry ketone, or even just the 800 number, you will come up with other blogs and complaint sites where this is being discussed, so we are not alone.

    The way scams like this make their money is that the $49.95 product they are sending probably cost them $1.50, so if even a fraction of the victims just cancel the future shipments but take the hit on the first one, they have made money.

  2. Scott

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the comment! Kind of weird to say but I guess I’m glad I’m not alone. Maybe this thing will attract more attention and be stopped sooner that way.

    Another very interesting thing, and something I’ll probably address in another blog post, is the testimonials on the Raspberry Ketone Strength website. My brother did a reverse image search on the people pictured there and it turns out that they are real people but are incorrectly identified on the scam website. It looks like the company just found some photos of people on a blog somewhere and used them. The photos used are the profile photos for real people that go by different names. I can almost guarantee that they have no idea their profile photos are used this way! I thought for sure they were going to be stock photos and that the testimonial was made up, but this just goes to show you the steps these scammers go to!

    I’ll be updating this post as new details arrive.

  3. Matthew

    Scott, that’s fascinating about the testimonial photos — it never would have occurred to me to check them in that way. I never actually went to the raspberry website because a different complaint post I found about them when I was first googling the situation advised against it on the suspicion that the website might be set up to install malware, so I figured why take chances.

    Glad to hear you got your money back! My own update is that I was going to wait to see what happened, but my spouse was more alarmed about it than I was, and less trusting of the customer service woman’s assurance that I would get a refund, so I called Chase Bank this morning (the bank that issued the card), and they have closed my card and will issue me a new one with a different number tomorrow when I visit the local branch, and say they will credit me the $49.95 while they pursue a claim against the raspberry company. In your original post, you said “Maybe the $49.95 charge is too small for the credit card companies to spend the time and money to pursue?” — I don’t think that’s the case, but the credit card company has no way to know it’s a fraudulent charge unless the customer notifies them. I helped my daughter years ago with a similar problem with a recurring charge that she didn’t notice till the 3rd month, and it was only $10 per month, but the bank was still quite helpful. The companies committing the fraud get away with it not because the bank/credit card company won’t pursue it, but because a lot of people don’t check their statements carefully and therefore don’t notice these types of charges, especially if the amount is small enough and the description on the statement is vague enough.

  4. Wendy

    The same thing happened to me last week. I received a notification from my bank of a possible suspicious charge. BOA is rejecting the charge. But now I have to wait for a new card because the old had to be cut off.

  5. Scott

    Sorry to hear you were affected too, Wendy! At least it sounds like BOA is handling it correctly. It’s tough to get a new credit card since I have nearly everything on auto-pay. I was refunded the money the same day it was charged so hopefully that ends it. I’ll definitely be keeping a very close eye on my statements for awhile here!

  6. Matthew

    HI, Wendy! Unfortunately my bank (Chase) did not flag the charge because the description didn’t look particularly more suspicious than other (legitimate) charges I’ve had. In fact, if the amount had been lower, I’m actually not sure I would have noticed it myself, or at least not so quickly, as I had used the card three other times that same day. I did get my $49.95 back this morning, but it was not from the raspberry company, it was from Chase, who credited me while they investigate. I also had to get a new card, which I will not receive for several days, but fortunately I only had one automatic transaction attached to this card, and it had already come through for this month.

  7. Steve Garrett

    The exact same thing happened to me last week. Suntrust cancelled my card and sent a new one and is investigating the claim.

  8. Aaron

    Wow I didn’t know this was affecting other people like it did me. Over this past weekend, it realized I was also hit by this scam of scammers.

    As part of my routine, before I go shopping I always do a quick balance of my bank account before I head out, and the evening of Sunday (8/17/14) was no different. To my surprise I noticed a weird charge/hold of $49.95 on my account. Anger quickly sent in as I scrambled to figure out what this charge was. Especially since it was the weekend and I opted to stay in due to the weather. The only description on the registry was 888-368-0967.com. After calling this number I was unable to talk them (whoever they were) due to it being a Sunday evening. The limited info that I gathered at this point was that they were in Pinellas Park, FL and that they supposedly catered to helping people get their websites online. Still this did not explain why I was being charged by them and more importantly for what. Upon a closer look on their website I noticed a “Live Chat” link which I decided to click on. Once connected to someone I explained my situation. The live help person online asked for my name, dob, address, and the first four and last four digits of my card number. I gave them everything except for the digits to my card though clearly they obviously already had it. I was explained that I had ordered Raspberry Ketones Strength. My first reaction WTF are you talking about. Then anger and rage set in. They told me they were able to cancel my account and block further charges but were unable to refund my $49.95. I then told them that I had no other choice but to take legal action and file a report with the Better Business Bureau. I was quickly asked to hang on while they check with their billing department for a resolution. About 5 minutes later their response had changed to we’re happy to inform you that your card will be credited back the $49.95 within 7-10 business days. Low and behold 2 days later it was credited back to my account. Now I had to go to my credit union and thank God they print off new cards right in the bank. Got a new card today after being declined last night at the store while on my lunch break at work. After calling the number on the back of my card I found out that my bank had placed a temporary block on my card due to the fraudulent activity they noticed on my account. Thankfully this credit came back through and now I have a new card. Hope this helps others out there.

  9. Scott

    Thanks for the message, Aaron! I wonder what the connection is between all of us that have been scammed. As far as I can tell, the only people benefiting from this scam are the billing company (the 888 website) and the Raspberry a Ketone place, which appears to be located in the UK.

    Did we we all buy something from a third party on Amazon that sold them this information? Is this part of the Target hack awhile back? (I’m surprised that the free credit monitoring service I got from that problem didn’t catch this!)

  10. Aaron

    I did purchase something on Amazon back in May. Was their a security beach of some sort with Amazons servers or something or the usual company A selling consumer info to company B?

  11. Ann

    Earlier today I noticed the charge to this 888 company for $49.95 on my credit card. I called my bank first and told them I didn’t make any purchases and the rep said I wouldn’t be responsible for paying the amount. He asked if I’d contacted the company where the charge was made. I told him I hadn’t, and asked if I should. He said it couldn’t hurt, maybe they would reverse the charges. So, I called them, and had a very hard time understanding the accent of the gentleman I talked to. I’m not sure if the charges would be reversed, he kept offering me a free bottle of the Raspberry Ketone Strength, and I kept declining the the offer.

    I don’t use my card a lot, just have a few monthly bills charged to it, as I’m trying to rebuild my credit after my credit went south while waiting for Social Security to approve my disability. Recently I signed up at CreditKarma, and wonder, do any of you have ties to CreditKarma as well?

  12. Matthew

    I don’t think we’ve found the common link yet — the card I got scammed on has never been used on Amazon, and I haven’t shopped at Target for ages — like years. Also, I’ve never signed up for CreditKarma. In fact, the card that was scammed is used almost exclusively in person at local merchants, and for one monthly automatic campaign contribution to my congressman. The only thing I can think of is that I heard on the news not long ago that authorities had discovered a major criminal activity in China regarding the collection and misuse of thousands of credit card numbers — maybe we all got caught up in that somehow. Our card numbers could have all been collected in a variety of ways and places, and then been bought and sold multiple times until they all ended up on the list acquired by this Raspberry company. I heard or read years ago that in scams of this kind, if the scammer gets the money from even 5% of the people they target, it’s still financially worth their while to do it as long as they don’t get caught. Aaron, like me, saw a description that made it sound like the company was in Pinellas Park, FL, but I guarantee you that these people are somewhere else, physically beyond the reach of US law enforcement!

  13. Steve

    I just noticed a 49.95 on my credit card too and in searching the net I found this page and read up on what you have all said. I then called my bank and asked them about the charge. They told me is was an online charge. I then proceeded to call the number from their website and after waiting 20 minutes someone finally answered . He too offered to cancel my subscription and put my card on a black list ? ( Great LOL )
    Then told me that I would have to accept the order and send it back for a refund . Can you say steam come out of my ears I demanded on talking to a supervisor and after arguing for 10 min he put me on hold and got a supervisor who when I mentioned that I would be talking to the police for fraud and also the BBB He paused and said that a refund would be in my bank within 7 to 10 days. Im wondering on how many people they are doing this too and how much interest that they are collecting on the money they are scamming before refunding it

    Im still contacting the BBB and doing up a report . And still unsure of where they got my address DOB etc unless they have scammed it from another website .

    PS Googled the name and look whos server that the website is on ec2-54-209-13-180.compute-1.amazonaws.com

  14. Scott

    @Ann, I use Quizzle, which is similar to CreditKarma, to keep track of my credit reports. I doubt they would be involved with this. For one, I have never used my card there (the service is free) and this is the thing that they are trying to prevent from affecting your credit history.

    @Matthew, Hmm. I really thought the Amazon connection would be it. It’s really strange. The company listed on the Raspberry Ketone terms & conditions website (linked to above), lists Puerto Quellon LP. They appear to be stationed in the UK, likely out of reach by the BBB and other US groups. I bet it turns out that the billing company and Raspberry Ketone place are one and the same.

    @Steve, Supposedly my bottle is still shipping as well. I have now been refunded the money, but before that they tried to give me an RMA in case I wanted to return the bottle. I told them I would be refusing the product regardless so wouldn’t need the RMA. I’m definitely not paying to send anything back to them! The amazonaws.com thing, I think, just means that they use Amazon Web Services for their hosting…many legitimate websites use that service as well to improve scalability of their sites.

  15. Tom

    I just had the same exact thing happen to me as the owner of the blog.

    The only difference was when I had talked to the customer service rep from the 888 number they continually offered me an extra fee bottle at no charge. I explained to the guy that if I never placed the order why would I want a free bottle?

    They finally agreed to cancel my order and refund my money and provided me with a confirmation number.

    I also made them aware that I would be calling Chase Fraud as well; Chase was very good about the whole situation, and told me that if the pending charge posts to my account by tomorrow that I should call back and reserve the charge. I also cancelled my debit card and will be picking up a new one later on today.

  16. Daniel

    I had the exact same thing happen. I use Amazon with this card. Bank is sending a new card, when I finally got through to what sounded like a Philippines call center, they were argumentative and assured me that there was no fraud. They said I had signed up for the product at $49.95 a month etc. Non of this is true. However, there is no doubt in my mind that many people don’t notice this charge and after 3 months passes, you can’t get your money back from the credit card company or bank. Most credit card agreements state that you are responsible for the first $50.00 of fraud, so I suspect that explains the $49.95 amount.

  17. andrew

    These bastards pinged my discover card… I also have it registered on amazon. I have purchased follow-on milk from amazon for my 10 month old from a company in the UK called ProTrade UK. Anyone else bought from them?

  18. Anna

    also got hit with this charge. This is my SECOND time getting hit by this company. Don’t remember the last 888 number, but this time it is 888-426-5392.

    My bank asked me to call them the first time for a refund, so I did, and the refund came though. I then got a new card.
    This time it happened again, I called the company first, and fought with the guy. Same speech about not being able to credit me, but could send me a free bottle. I yelled at him about not wanting the damn supplements, and he then said he could credit my account and cancel. Same as last time.

    I would love to find out where this is happening from. I only shop at major online retailers. Amazon, Target, LLBean, Walmart.
    Since it’s different cards, something is still being breached somewhere.

    Oh, and the supplements never come, btw.

  19. Matthew

    @Tom, my card was also through Chase Bank — they (not the offending company) credited me the $49.95 the next day, but left me a recorded message that if after investigation it was determined that the charge had been legitimately authorized by me, they would want their $49.95 back. I suspect that with the number of comments about this scam here and elsewhere online, Chase will be hard-pressed to conclude that I legitimately ordered this product.

    @David, I had also heard that the customer was responsible for some initial amount, so was pleasantly surprised that I got the $49.95 back from Chase. Maybe it varies by bank? Also, I’m not sure about the 3 month thing, but I suspect that if you let something go on for 3 months without reporting it, the bank would (quite rightly) be more skeptical that it was not legitimate.

    @Ann, Mastercard is not the common link — mine was a Visa. @Andrew, I have not purchased from ProTrade — in fact, never purchased anything from Amazon using this card. I have a different card registered with them for “one-click shopping”.

    @Anna, when you say this is the second time you got hit, do you mean that they got you two months in a row on the same card, or do you mean that after you went through the whole thing with your bank’s fraud department and got a new card number, you got hit again on a different card? It’s not comforting to know that this could happen repeatedly.

  20. Andrew

    As of today, 8/22/14, this same thing has happened today. I got home today, my wife asked what the order was on my billing statement for 49.95 and I began to investigate by calling the number. They told me it was an order for Raspberry Keytone pills and they had my name, card number, and address. I told them I didn’t order it, and the rep (who didn’t speak English well), said he refunded the money, which would take 5-10 business days. However, I had deactivated my debit card before making the call.

  21. Drew

    I have been trying to get ahold of the number on my credit card statement for a week now. Finally this morning I spoke with a woman and have had the same experience and was promised a refund and asked if I would like to cancel. My question to everyone (I have not read everyone’s entry on this page either) is has anyone actually received this raspberry package that is suppose to be coming? I asked the lady what I should do with it when it comes and she said I can keep it if I want or I can send it back whatever I wanted to do. That answer made me think that there is not going to be a package.

  22. Anna

    @Matthew – yes, this has happened with 2 different cards now (3 times). The first was on 5/30/14 for a place called fighterbody.com and then again on 6/23/14 with a place called ieptcs.com 866-611-8469 and those were both on the same card. $49.95 both times. I got a new card and then got hit again on 8/18/14 from 888-426-5392.com with the new card. That’s why I’m thinking there is some breach on one of the online retailers I use. I did a bunch of school shopping at the end of July/early August and somehow my new card got hit again. They seem to change the “business name” each time, but it’s always for the raspberry supplements.

    @Drew – I never got the package the first time around.

  23. Jayme

    WOW! A google search led me here and I wanted to add my story to the rest. I too noticed the $49.95 charge on my card listed as “888-302-7639.COM CRAWFORDVILLE FL Services – BUSINESS SERVICES,NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSED” (Citi bank credit card). I called the 888 number to find out what it was for and after asking for the first and last 4 digits of my credit card number (um, no) he then asked for my last name and zip code. I gave him that and my first name and he came back to tell me my correct address and full name. What the heck?! I asked what the charge was for and he told me raspberryketonestrength.com. I called my husband just to make sure he didn’t do something weird (he didn’t) and then I called the credit card company. Found this site while on hold so they put a note on my card that it might be a dispute if the company wouldn’t refund the money. I called the 888 number back and told the rep that this was an unauthorized charge and I wanted to cancel the subscription and get a refund. He sighed and said that would be a hard request – then asked if I’d like to get the product FOR FREE INSTEAD. NO! He seriously asked me at least 5 times if I wanted the product for free and asked if my husband or myself was trying to lose some weight. Actually, I’m pregnant, so no. That seemed to finally get him off the question and he took a minute but gave me the cancellation number and told me we’d get a refund in 7-10 business days. Thank you for putting your story out there so I knew exactly how/what to ask for when I called to get my refund!

  24. Scott

    @Drew, Nope. I have yet to receive the product despite them telling me that it had already shipped.

    @Jayme, Wow. For how small my blog’s reach is, a ton of people have had similar experiences. I can’t imagine how many people are being affected by this and who don’t regularly check their statements, like most of here have. Would a $49.95 charge slip through? I bet that’s what the scammers are hoping! Congratulations on the pregnancy, by the way!
    Scott recently posted…Raspberry Ketone Strength Scam?My Profile

  25. Matthew

    Been thinking about this as more people arrive to tell their stories. We’ve been trying to find the common link of how they got all our card numbers, and I wonder if we’re looking at it the wrong way. Because the Target thing has been in the news, we’ve been assuming that they stole our numbers from a retailer where we used the card, but we can’t find a common link. Nor a common bank, nor a common type of credit card. But what if they’re stealing it from us directly? If you bank or check/pay your credit card online, then at some point you entered your number via your own computer and it’s there in some cookie or temp file or somewhere. If you then went to a website that infected your computer with malware, maybe even a thing that saves keystrokes, the scammers could be getting our numbers from our own computers.

    For example, I have recently been looking at a lot of real estate and rental websites. They all look legit, but who knows?!? I know that the ad-click folks have picked this up, because now I get all sorts of banner ads pertaining to real estate, relocation, legal services for home buyers, etc, that I didn’t get before. Anyone else recently (just before you got hit by the scam) started visiting websites that you never visited before that might possibly have turned out to be not legit?

  26. ER

    I got a fraud alert for my Amazon/Chase card with this $49.95 transaction. I did not bother calling the scammers since my Amazon/Chase card is the one that gets hit with fraudulent charges about once a year. Chase declined it and issued me a new card. I hope that all of you who called and spoke to the scammers get a new card issued.

  27. Brianne

    This happened to me for the 2nd time today in less than a month! The first time it was from hcincsupport.com & this time it was from 8883704037.com, neither of which I have ever heard of. I never ordered raspberry ketones & luckily was able to get my refund back both times(after basically threatening them). I use amazon a lot with the same account so that’s the only connection I can think of. According to them the first time around I signed up in April but never received any bottles, emails, etc & the charge showed up at the end of July. This time the charge showed up today which was also apparently when I ordered it. I told them I would never sign up for something expensive when I don’t even know if it definitely works or not. They offered to send the bottle I paid for but never received as well as a free one. I told them I didn’t want any of that, just my money & cancellation of services. At first they told me they couldn’t give me a refund & that all they could do was cancel the membership because I agreed to the terms & conditions(which is bs). I told them if they couldn’t help me that I would call and dispute it that way so they put me on hold to speak to their “billing department” & then said they’d make a one time exception to refund the money(which they did both times). If it’s happens one more time I will getting a new card.

  28. DFG

    This exact thing just happened to me today! Almost identical to how you posted it as well. When I didn’t recognize the charge or the company that was made August 13, I tried googling it and came up with this 3rd party site whom I contacted, first by phone and then again by live chat. It also, was the Raspberry Ketone Strength and there is no direct contact to the company except through the 3rd party site. On the phone, the agent “kindly” cancelled my subscription but then told me I would have to contact the company directly. He gave me a cancellation number. I was new into the research, so after figuring out I couldn’t directly contact the company, I did a live chat with an agent “Arturo” who after telling me I ordered the product, and me telling him how could I? I never heard of it, he offered me a free bottle instead of cancelling and refunding me the money. I told him no, that isn’t acceptable as I didn’t want the purchase to begin with. Finally after some holding, they came back with refunding me in 7-10 days. I also told them I would be contacting my bank and reporting the situation.
    I then forwarded all the information to WellsFargo and will be getting a new card.
    Interestingly, the same day that the charge was “manually processed” I made an Amazon purchase. That is the only purchase this month to this date I had made on this card. Just in case, I contacted Amazon (we will see if they look into their securities or even do anything at all). With all the other breaches that have been happening, Amazon would be a gold mine.

  29. Lara

    Happened to me 3 times. I ended up getting A new card. They gave me 3 confirmation numbers and say they will remove or cancel your info on their end but beware !!! check next month they probably will charge you again !!!

  30. Matthew

    Checked my online statement last night, and to my absolute amazement, the raspberry company actually did credit me back the $49.95. (So of course Chase then took back their $49.95, but that’s fine — as long as I got it from somewhere!)

    @Lara, yes, people who did not change their card numbers should definitely keep a close eye on their statements — but if I get charged again, I will really be worried that there’s something on my computer feeding them my number, because by then, I will have received my new card and will have a new number!

  31. Greg

    Same thing has been happening to me for 3 months now. Different company every time. Exact same charge of 49.95 every time. Every case says they sent me some supplement that was not ordered or received. Two times when I called within 2 weeks they reversed the charge, 3rd time when it had been a month they did not reverse the charge, had to dispute through CC company.

    What scares me is this 3rd time was on my new creditcard number. Talked to Fraud Dept at Cap One, they are going to try something on Monday to block it. Capone did say the billing address only lists FL and a zip of 33432

    The number I called gave me BULLSYEHOSTS.COM as the true merchant even though the Creditcard lists it as 888-368-0967.com.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with the product they say they shipped. I think it is just a someone who got some creditcards and is setting up a new merchant every month and sending through 49.95 purchases through this billing company, that always tells you they have 2000 clients but can never give you specifics.

    I would be curious how many people who have been affected by this were affected by the Target issue back in December. I was I know.

  32. Matthew

    @Greg, whether this relates back to the Target breach depends on what was stolen from Target and how far back in their records the theft went, which I’m not really sure. I rarely shop at Target because there isn’t one near me and it’s really not my store in terms of specifically seeking it out. The last time I made a purchase at Target was in Feb. 2011, and as best as I can tell, I did not use the card that was currently hacked.

  33. Sergio

    I got a weird charge on my wells fargo account. It was still pending today good thing I caught it in time. WF cancelled my card. Hopefully it doesn’t go through. My statement said 8883704037.COM PINELLAS PARK FL. I only use that card with Amazon as well. I wonder if that is where they got my info from.

  34. Al

    Same thing just happened with my company expense card and the same story with the customer service. Only connection i can make is that a book purchased with this card from Amazon. This one is sure a well-organized scam. I remember a similar thing with Amazon back in 04 or 05 signing me automatically a $9.99/month some sort of service thru A9. I wonder if anyone ever received any products from this guys.

  35. Gordon

    I too, just discovered I was hit for the last two months by these clowns. I had a busy six weeks and just got around to checking my statements – normally I’m checking all the time. Guess I’ll be checking every day for a looong time.

    I tried to call but couldn’t get anyone – it’s after midnight – but was able to get a “live chat representative.” They said they would cancel the order, but couldn’t refund the money. I explained I was on the phone with the police – because I was – and they still wouldn’t do anything about it.

    This too was for the Raspberry Ketone Strength. I recently ordered several things on Amazon, and I discovered two separate charges – one this month and one back in July.

    I’m setting the alarm for early to wake up and call the credit union. They’re great about these things. My only issue will be that I have a couple of auto-pay bills that are coming if the card is cancelled.

    So glad to know I’m not alone on this.

  36. Ken

    OK I am not alone. This same exact thing happened to me on August 15. I get Chase alerts and I immediately called chase. The Rep saw who charged me the $49.95 and immediately cancelled my card. I only use this particular card for on line purchases. The way I see it the only connection I have with everyone seems to be Amazon. I will be sending them an e-mail. Not my business but everyone should cancel there card get a new one issued. Good Luck

  37. Scott

    Sergio, Al, Gordon, and Ken,

    It does seem like Amazon is somehow involved. I know it isn’t likely Amazon directly but instead one of their third party sellers. Maybe there was a security breach that Amazon hasn’t made public yet? I might contact them and forward the link to these comments to see if they can help track this down.

  38. Jocelyn

    I’m here to report that YES, I too have had this happen. Once, in early July 2014, and then just TODAY, August 28th, 2014. Both times it was for “Raspberry Ketone Strength,” $49.95/month, and I haven’t figured out how my information was breached. When the new card was re-issued, I know that I updated it on Amazon, so I’m wondering if that’s part of the culprit. I’m choosing to move my transactions to a credit card instead of my debit card, since scams with access to my cash are scary! I’ve placed a fraud alert on my credit report too, in case someone takes that information (they have my address & zip) and opens up a new account. My banking is with Bank of America.

  39. Matthew

    Unlike some of you, I have literally never used this card even once on Amazon, and actually have used it online at all only a handful of times — I use it almost exclusively for local brick & mortar merchants. The only time I use it online is on the rare occasion when a seller won’t accept Amex, which is my main card. However, I agree with Scott that if not Amazon, it could be some other seller using Amazon’s server platform. I read someplace that they make quite a bit of income leasing out server space and infrastructure to merchants who don’t want to set up their own.

    Here’s something else I was thinking about. My $49.95 charge came through with Pinellas Park, FL, in the description, which is actually close enough to where I live that it could have seemed like a legitimate purchase, both to me and to my bank, which is probably why they didn’t send me an alert. Did all of your $49.95 charges come from Pinellas Park, FL, or did yours come from some other location near to where each of you lives?

  40. Julie

    I have had this happen to me twice, 2 different cards. I have not used Amazon. I have used this card at Walmart, buying Isagenix products and rented a condo through Panhandlegetaways.com. Have any of you used your cards at these places? I am crazy mad right now!!!! On the way to the bank, which is First Tennessee Bank, to get another card!!! I called my bank this morning and the customer service rep told me she dealt with 4 people yesterday that had the same problem. We need to contact Fox News and get this story out there!!!

  41. Scott

    @Matthew, I wonder if this was happening before that Heartbleed thing related to the OpenSSL vulnerability was announced? Maybe somebody got our credit cards with associated names and addresses that way?

    I’m not sure where the charge originated from. My statement only lists the 888 number website.

    @Jocelyn, that is exactly why I’ve only used my debit card at ATMs. Credit cards have better fraud protection and no actual money is deducted from the account (if you catch it in time).

    @Julie, Wow! Your bank had 4 people with the same issue?! This scam must be very, very widespread!


    A gentleman by the name of Greg emailed me this as well a few days ago (his comment was caught by my spam filter):
    “i have some followup info, but can’t get it to post due to the spam policies.

    Do a search on ‘mmamusclegain scam’

    they charged me back in may for 49.95. same processor.”

  42. Matthew

    @Scott, I totally forgot about the Heartbleed thing (at least in the sense of making a connection to this particular situation). By odd coincidence, I am currently at Dragoncon and they are having a session tomorrow about Heartbleed. I will go to it, and if this isn’t raised, I will ask it as a question if I get the opportunity. (I will even take notes and report back.)

  43. Katie

    I just wanted to say this happened to me as well! I think this is a very wide spread scam. I think they are using this “company” as a front for their use of fraudulently obtained card information.

  44. Matthew

    Folks, take a look at the front page of today’s USA Today, and also go to Twitter and search on the phrase “Russian hackers” and click on any news link — I’m pretty sure you can do this even if you’re not a member of Twitter. The FBI is investigating an attack upon 5 major U.S. banks in which “gigabytes of customer data” have been stolen. This story apparently just broke — most of the related tweets are less than an hour old. Virtually every major financial news outlet is now reporting this story. This may very well be connected to the scam that we all here have been victim of.

  45. Scott

    @Matthew, Interesting and quite scary. My only question is if they hacked into banks why didn’t they go directly into the checking accounts? Seems like most of us had credit cards affected.

    My card was through US Bank. Wonder if the bank/ card issuer could be the connecting thing?

    This reminds me that I should check my other credit cards that I keep open but don’t use anymore.

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