• Posted on March 20, 2013

How ‘free trial’ web offers can be credit card traps

The offer was tempting: I could read exclusive online articles about my beloved Red Sox on ESPN Insider, for just $44.95 a year. And to be sure that it would be money well spent, I could sign up for a seven-day free trial. I bit, coughing up my credit card number as part of the […]

  • Posted on March 20, 2013

Beware Mystery Fees for Web Services

When Geoff Sigg noticed a small charge from an unfamiliar company called Spoonfull.net on his company’s SBC Communications phone bill last September, he looked a little closer. He discovered that for two months, he had paid $4.31 including taxes to a company he’d never heard of. He checked further and found that Spoonfull.net was charging […]

  • Posted on March 20, 2013

Sneaky Fees

Recently, I renewed my XM Satellite Radio subscription. I had expected the service to cost $13 per month, since that was the amount the company advertised. I found out, however, that in addition to the $13, Sirius XM had implemented a new, monthly $2 “music royalty fee.” I was annoyed, but I grudgingly agreed to […]

  • Posted on March 20, 2013

Psychedelic Drugs Just a Click Away Online

With a few drops of a liquid hallucinogen under his tongue and the smell of incense in the air, Texas resident Frank Ramirez says he can transport himself to a different world. Eyes shut and legs crossed, he first feels warm and flushed. Then the rush of the drug swirls into his head and, Ramirez […]

  • Posted on March 20, 2013

Bogus Ink Stink

In early February, Yasar Sattar shook hands with undercover detective Rod Jones and a private investigator for Epson, who were posing as potential ink buyers. All three men were inside a Brampton, Ontario, doughnut shop, and Sattar had just agreed to sell $30,000 (U.S.) worth of Epson and Hewlett-Packard ink jet and toner cartridges for […]