Posted by: Susan | January 13, 2009

The Best Scam Of The Week

Today I received a check in the mail in one of those tear-off-the-edges mailers.  It was from a merchant I’ve bought from before, so I thought maybe they were being nice and sending me a little credit to inspire me to shop some more.  So I tore off the edges and opened it up to find a check for $5.  How nice, I thought, until I turned the check over to the back side and found this just above the endorsement line:

“By cashing this check I agree to a thirty-day trial offer in ID Secure.  I understand that the $139.99 annual membership fee will be automatically charged to the credit card account I used to make my last Woman Within purchase, subject to credit approval and to the terms of my credit card agreement, unless I cancel my membership by calling 1-800-395-4057 before the end of the trial period.  At the end of my first year, my membership will be automatically renewed at the $149.99 annual fee for the next twelve months and I will also be charged every year thereafter at the then-current fee unless I call to cancel for a refund of the unused portion of the current year’s fee.  I authorize Woman Within to securely transfer my credit card information to ID Secure for enrollment, billing, and benefit processing and I authorize ID Secure to bill the annual membership fee after my thirty-day trial.”

Well.  Take a deep breath, and as Kate Winslet said the other night, “Gather.”  In case you haven’t heard of them, Woman Within is an on-line and catalog merchant specializing in woman’s plus sizes (which I no longer need, by the way, since I lost 20 pounds!  Yay me!) and they own a bunch of other stores as well.  So be forewarned, loyal readers, about this merchant, who is obviously willing to sell your precious information to the highest and most dastardly bidder.  And don’t cash any unexpected checks!


  1. Such are the ways of the world to cheat or trick us at every turn while taking advantage of our good trusting nature. After ordering a pair of jeans for my daughter, we then received one of these same scam checks that we ALMOST deposited until my brilliant husband read the small print. They would have messed us over for $300.00 since ours reads 2 payments of 149.99 before we were able to end it all.

    How to prevent this happening to you?

    1. don’t order online


    2. Make sure that when you order on line to tell Customer Service you want to ‘opt out’ for any 3rd party to have your private info.


  2. Oops, You’re correct – annual fee is upfront 139.99 and auto renewal is 149.99.

    Update: I called Woman Within and opted out. Seems that they’ve been ‘renting’ my information to third parties. So these places online are making money off our information they sell to others without our knowledge or perhaps consent unless that’s included in some small print when we order.

  3. I received same scam refund check for $8.25 from who I thought was PediPaws. It too had an $139.00 annual membership fee that would be automatically charged to my credit card on file. ID Secure is another great scam tool. You have to be on top of your game everyday, or better yet…just pay cash for everything we do.

  4. I just got hit with the $139.99 courtesy of Woman Within. But here’s the kicker: I never got or cashed this $5 check. So I’m guessing WW just gave ID Secure my account number and they charged it. It’s disgusting how unscrupulous people can be.

  5. My daughter just got hit with this also from a $5 check from Woman Within. She is very careful about these scams and says she read every word on the check and had a friend carefully read it also. She says the check said nothing about signing up for anything or any charges. After reading your post, I called ID Secure to cancel. I could only understand about half of what was being said due to the strong accent. I was told that cashing the check resulted in the fees and that was it. I share this account with my daughter. I told them we didn’t want or need their services. I wanted a refund and got nowhere. I finally had to threaten to report them to the state attorney general’s office before I was told they would discontinue the service and provide a refund. Thank-you for the heads up on what this was about.

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