There are dozens of fraudulent schemes going around like this one. Snopes gives a good run-down of how to protect yourself, which bears repeating here.
How To Avoid Falling Victim To Unauthorized Charges Scams:
* Do not give out bank account or credit card numbers over the phone if you didn't initiate the call to a reputable, known company. Be very reluctant to do business with any outfit that calls you (e.g., a telemarketing firm) rather than the other way around.
* When tempted by a great deal proffered out of the blue by a business entity you have no direct knowledge of, remind yourself that offers which sound too good to be true generally are. Keep in mind that what is presented as a fabulous value for an amazing low price (e.g. coupons for $200 worth of gasoline in return for $1.95 mailing fee) might be no more than a set-up for the real purpose of persuading you to give up your financial information.
* Be wary of any "free trial offer" that requires bank account or credit card numbers to cover shipping and handling charges. If the business is so interested in having you as a customer that it is willing to provide its product or service at no charge, why would it not also be willing to cover the cost of shipping?
* Examine your credit card and bank account statements every month, keeping an eye peeled for unauthorized charges. Immediately challenge items you did not okay.
* Stop believing in the chimera of "something for nothing."
Dave (SCA: Geoffrey Genour of Carney)
Protector of Bits and Bytes, Third cousin once removed to Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light
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