Thursday, January 18, 2007

Consumer Fraud Alert:

With the assistance of attorney Carl H. Starrett II, Special Investigations Agency ("SIA") is conducting an investigation into the Internet website for fraudulently selling bootleg copies of American television programs.

In one reported case, a customer ordered the entire TV series called Coach on DVD from this website. Although the merchandise was supposedly in stock when the order was placed in November 2006, the DVDs did not arrive until January 14, 2006 and the customer's credit card was charged long before the order shipped. Instead of shipping the order via UPS as advertised on its website, they shipped the order via Canadian mail.

.tv makes the claim that "All our products are official copies". However, the merchandise delivered actually consisted of low quality recordings from the USA Network. The labels also appeared to have been printing on an ink jet style printer. Others consumers have reported similar experiences to worldwide consumer reporting website called Click here to see reports from consumers who have been ripped off by Legal action is being contemplated.

Internet fraud is becoming increasingly common. The FBI offers the following tips to avoid fraud when making purchases online:
  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.
  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.
  • Try to obtain a physical address rather than merely a post office box and a phone number, call the seller to see if the number is correct and working.
  • Send them e-mail to see if they have an active e-mail address and be wary of sellers who use free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won't provide you with this type of information.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
  • Check out other web sites regarding this person/company.
  • Don’t judge a person/company by their web site.
  • Be cautious when responding to special offers (especially through unsolicited e-mail).
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • Inquire about returns and warranties.
  • The safest way to purchase items via the Internet is by credit card because you can often dispute the charges if something is wrong.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.
  • Consider utilizing an escrow or alternate payment service.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I ordered the SOAP TV series for my boyfriend for Valentines day. I received a "Canada Post " tracking notifivation- with no details. I 'm still waiting for my DVD's. Unfortunately I used a prepaid debit card and can't get the $ 100 returned.

As an aside, I , too am receiving porn pop ups and invitations since I ordered
I hope these theives get caught.