1. The scam artist offers you a service online, such as premium membership on a website, or even internet service, e-mail or whatever. Or it could be a subscription service or magazine.2. The merchant requires a credit card for negative option billing, telling you that you can "cancel at any time!"3. You sign up for the service and use it for a while. Eventually you decide you no longer want to use the service and try to cancel.4. You go to the merchant's website to cancel and find that you are required to CALL to cancel. Or, they have a link to cancel that does not work, or when you fill it out, they claim not to have received your submission.5. You call and try to cancel. They send you to a "cancellation specialist" who tries to convince you not to cancel the service - often browbeating you in the process. They finally concede and say they will cancel your service.6. You get a bill next month for the service. You call again, and they claim never to have received notice of cancellation. This can go on for months, even after you have sent them registered letters.7. In some instances the charges eventually stop, but only after months of excess charges, which are never refunded. In some instances, the charges stop - but mysteriously re-start after a few months. In other instances, the only way to get them to stop is to cancel your credit card and get a new one.
1. Is the service for something as dubious as a "premium membership" on a website or some other unnecessary expense in your life? If so, just walk away.2. Do they offer "30 days free trial! Cancel at any time!"? If so, it probably is a con-job. You may eventually get them to cancel - but long after the 30-day period. They will get you. Remember that FREE ISN'T and whenever someone dangles out "FREE" in your face, you should run away as fast as possible.3. Is the Merchant a nationally recognized "legitimate" company? This is not always indicative, as companies such as AOL and wireless companies (and cable companies) have all been accused of using this gag.