Pornotherapy, or "WTF is this on my credit card bill?"

According to the credit card bill I just opened, on May 20 I spent $19.80 at “

I think I’d remember doing this.

There are only two options here, as I see it. Either I never really ordered anything from them, in which case I don’t want to pay the money. Or, I actually did spend money with them, in which case, dammit, I wanna see what I bought! :smiley:

I figure, though, before I call customer service only to find out that I recently ordered something really embarrassing and just forgot about it, I’d better do some research.

So I call up No such host. Okaaay…

Then I do a web search on the word ‘pornotherapy.’ It seems the only place this word is ever used is in this quote:

(As an aside, I think I should note here that I think it’s very sad that Judge Dean couldn’t find a synonym for “abortion” that started with the letter p.)

Nearly all the sites I found were laughing at this and other anti-atheist, anti-evolution, etc. quotes. So did I buy some satirical anti-creationist merchandise? Nope…

So, I’m stumped. Guess it’s time to call the credit card folks after all. shrug

Dagnabbit, I got hit by the quotation-mark-in-the-subject-line bug.

For those of you keeping score at home, the title of the thread should be:

"Pornotherapy, or, “WTF is this on my credit card bill?!”

[Credit card fraud analyst hat on]

It’s a fraud charge. Your account number was comprimised. Call your bank IMMEDIATELY and get the number shut down.

There are a couple of the companies-as far as we’ve been able to figure out there’s,.net and .org. They are located in the former Soviet Union and deal in comprimised credit card account numbers. Call now-get the account number shut down.

BTW-Visa/Mastercard policy states customers are not held liable for internet fraud-not a penny as long as you report it ASAP.

[credit card fraud analyst hat off]

Same type of thing happened to me. Only in my case, it wasn’t the businesses that made the fraudulent charges, it was a shiteating, goat-testicle-licking individual who had somehow gotten my card # and expiration date. I called my bank, and got it taken care of.

hardygrrl is right; you aren’t obligated to pay for these charges. Just inform your bank, make a good-faith effort to contact the company (the bank’s Visa records will have a phone #, if one exists), and you will be compensated.

The only pisser is that if this website is indeed overseas, the bank won’t see their money back.

Bank has been called, card has been cancelled. :slight_smile:

Oh, and thanks to the anonymous mod who fixed my thread title!


Actually,Crown Prince-with internet charges we have full chargeback rights. If we can locate the bastards that is.
Gotta love the internet. :slight_smile:
BTW-word of warning to all the Dopers out there. Just because the website has the little secure icon doesn’t mean they can’t be hacked. Trust me on that one.

At this point, it is probably moot, but while there is nothing at, the domain is currently owned by someone.

Perman, Alex
110 Minna st., #205
San Francisco, CA 94105

Is listed as the administrative, technical, and billing contact for that particular URL.

It might be worth a laugh to try to get in touch with Mr. Perman.

That’s right down the street from SFMOMA. You’re probably now part of some heroin-addled Performance Art major’s senior project: a poster consisting of letters of inquiry from people improperly charged for porn.

/slight hijack/

That’s good to know, hardygrrl. One thing that ticked me off tho, is that the cops were totally reluctant to subpeona the websites records so I could find out the bastard who got my card #. I’m pretty sure it was a dupster diver, becasue I never lost my card, and one of the charges was to set up a Prodigy internet account. The Prodigy rep slipped and told me that the account was set up in Oregon (my state), but not at my address (duh?). Then he clammed up because of confidentiality laws.

/ok, big hijack/

Isn’t that a friggin’ pisser? My card was used to purchase several hundred dollars worth of accounts and services (including prepaid cellphone cards, porn accounts, and the aforementioned Prodigy account), but none of the companies who, by the way, never bothered to cross-check my billing address, could give me any info on the slimy, gutter-drinking thief who used my card. I have to subpeona it, yet the cops are sitting on their thumbs.

At least I got my money back.

/end hijack/

Anyway, Drewbert, glad it looks like it’ll work out for ya. At least it looks like you have more info than I have to go on. My suggestion is to pass it straight along to the Federal Trade Commission (who oversees this stuff), and don’t bother with the stress of following up on it.

This reminds me to send chocolate to the security people at my family’s credit card company.

We can track a famly member’s travels by the card company calling about “mysterious charges”. (ring, ring “Hello, we have a charge here for a hotel room in Toronto. Are you aware that Kathryn is there?” “yup! hey, Kate made it to Toronto! Thanks”)

Ditto for unusual Internet expences. (They have caught on that we buy books from though)

Its not a hassle, because they only call when something they don’t expect to see happens, and its within an hour of the charge. They are good, and we love them to death.

** Crown Prince **

I hear you there. We’re not allowed to tell victims who did it because of the various privacy laws and to prevent vigilante justice.

As for the merchants-speaking as someone who worked eleven years in retail-they want the sale. Badly enough not to cross reference information. For example,when’s the last time a merchant compared the signature on your credit card to the signature on the receipt?

** Medea’s Child **

Thank you. :slight_smile: So often we get screamed at by customers because we dared verify a charge or request the merchant identify who’s using the account. It’s nice to hear someone appreciates what we do.

I know what you mean about the checking of the the signature, Hardygrrl. Every time a merchant actually does so, I thank them. A little positive reinforcement for my security.

Good for you. On my CC, I have my sig, AND a note saying, “Please check my ID”. I only get about 1 in 20 clerks that actually check it, though.

This same thing happened to a girl I work with.

However, she has led a little bit of a sheltered life. Her parents are very overprotective and still “take care of her”.

So her credit card statement gets sent to her parents’ house, and they pay it.

Oh yeah.

Her mom called her up one afternoon, and in a very circumspect manner, said, “Um, honey, I don’t want to upset you…and maybe you need this, I don’t know, but…did you maybe charge $25 at a Porn Therapy site?”

Even after they found out about the whole Russian credit card fraud angle, her mom was still looking at her kind of funny.

I got a call about a month ago asking if I had used my debit card (the one that I play the “that check hasn’t cleared so I still have money in my account” game with) for a $25 charge to **[/]b. No, I definately hadn’t so they told me to cut up my card and they’d send me another one.

Come to find out, is a Netscape linked site! Are they that bad off that they have to steal card numbers from their browser users to pay the bills?


I guess that keeps down the charges at the Kwik-E Motel and the local adult theatre and toy store - or are they regulars??


(nothing personal, MC doesn’t seem the type for that, but the checkups could be embarrassing. Plus, what if they called from, say, Victoria’s Secret and you were buying the wife a little surprise?)

I await biometrics...

I just got a call from the phone company yesterday, my account has hit the $700 mark and they wanted to collect before the bill arrived. That’s over 110 hours of phone calls in less than a month at 10 cents a minute. And do I ever call long distance? Noooo…

At first, it sounded like fraud, but then… (Suddenly glaring in 18 year old sister’s direction)

Oh well, I guess no vacation for me…

Okay…a bit of advice, and perhaps some whining from an internet merchant. I own a small internet based (yes, its adult) company. I do my billing through the web. First off, my system is automatically set to reject any charge that does not have a positive AVS match. I cannot conceive of any company not using such a simple security measure.

Believe me, it is just as hard for us merchants to find out anything about those who defraud us. In the adult industry it is quite common for someone to order and receive a service and then when the bill arrives to conveniently decide that someone must have used their card illegally. As has been stated earlier, if it is an internet charge, the merchant has NO recourse. All the card holder has to do is call their CC company, and say they did not authorize the charge. The money is then debited straight out of the merchants account (Plus a 25 dollar service charge). The merchant cannot fight this. Is this fair to the merchant? No, it is not. Then the CC companies have the nerve to complain about the high rate of chargebacks for adult charges. It is a problem they created themselves, and they make the merchant pay for it in higher discount rates, etc.

I have been relatively lucky and have only been burned by about a grand in the last year. Some companies’ losses range into the tens of thousands however.

A bit of advice for you though, if you do happen to find an unauthorized charge on your card. My company telephone number appears right on the CC statement next to my business name. I appreciate it very much when the cardholder calls me and inquires about the charge. Quite often this happens, and I hear “Oh yeah…I forgot about that.” Other times they still have no real knowledge of the charge, or at least pretend that they don’t. When this happens, I just refund the charge, and leave it at that. This at least saves me the 25 dollar service charge I would get if it became a chargeback. So do all us legitimate internet businesses a favor, and call the merchant before you call your bank.

I notice it’s done here a lot in CA, don’t ask me why.

My friend’s husband recently had his SS# stolen and the theives (some ring from an African(?) country operating out of Miami) tried to open a Sears account. I guess they already had a Sears account and so Sears called to verify the different address. She called all of the credit reporting agencies and had a fraud alert put on their credit reports.

The theives were nearly caught in Home Depot, but left before the police arrived. They also had started phone service in a place in Miami, tried to secure a loan, and tried to open a VISA.

My friend received a call from the Secret Service about a month later, turns out that there was an employee in AmEx that was selling the SS#s of businesspeople that had travelled to Miami.

Thanks from me too! On our first trip to Napa, Citibank cut off our Visa because we were spending a barrel of money on wine and they couldn’t get ahold of us. Minor inconvienience, but really nice knowing they’re watching.

Here’s another thank you coming your way. Last December, we got a call from Chase. They wanted to know whether we had in fact paid a limousine service $900 a few days before. We had not. The limousine service was over 100 miles away, and we’d been in town the whole time. They proceeded to review all of the other recent charges over the phone with my wife, and that was the only bogus one. Even stranger than having only the one fraudulent charge was that it registered with the CC processor as a swiped transaction, meaning that someone actually had a card with our account information on it, but only used it the one time.

The customer service reps and fraud investigators from Chase we dealt with were all extremely helpful and easy to deal with.

So there are lots of us out there who appreciate your efforts.