The Ace Hardware scam

I write this as a public service, advising not to do what I have done, and not to let greed be a motivator. It also helps if you are not a senior citizen, as we are the targets of most of these scams.

This is not what I saw originally. It was just an invitation to take a survey, and in return I would received a DeWalt space heater, which I do not even need. Our garage is heated, kept at 57 degrees all winter long. But I thought it would be a real gain for me, as it would be worth more than my time answering ten questions.

I should know better, but I took the survey, and began to feel queasy. In return for $6.99 shipping, for which I gave them my credit card number, the space heater would be shipped to me.

I immediately called Citibank after, and told them what I had done. They put me through to the dispute center, and when the gentleman picked up I said I had given my credit card number to someone claiming to be Ace Hardware.”Oh man, the Ace Hardware thing” said the man.

He told me he would put me in touch with the “company” that was doing this, as they were not yet labeled fraudsters, but were flagged as engaging in bad business practices. I woman speaking with an Asian accent picked up, and I said I wanted to cancel my $6.99 transaction. She said she could not hear me. I continued to talk, and she continued to insist that she could not hear me. and finally I heard that gruff phone company voice saying “If you’d like to make a call …”

I called back to the fraud department at Citibank and advised that I had been scammed, and that I needed to shut down my credit card. That action is but a push of a button, and happens immediately. I then went to my credit card Internet page to dispute the $6.99 charge, and in the time it took to make that phone call, a new $58 charge to a company selling scent products appeared.

I acted quickly, and the $58 charge will go away. The $6.99 charge I will have to live with, as when I disputed it I labeled it a product and was put in an infinite loop asking who had the product … I went back to start and labeled it a service, but at that point I could not dispute it anymore.

It is all rather routine, and a new credit card will arrive today or tomorrow. Since that time, I have received several more offers to take a survey with well-known companies in exchange for disproportionately large gifts, one offering a $100 gift card.

Greed’ll getcha every time.

This is just friendly advice to people smarter than me not to be as stupid was I was. I guess that is redundant.

5 thoughts on “The Ace Hardware scam

  1. I know the feeling, but please don’t feel bad because it’s happened to plenty of us who also pay attention. It almost happened to me when I was about 26 (MANY decades ago) and was a New Orleanean living in Manhattan. The good old “buy magazine subscriptions for less than half the price you’re already paying” while listing the subscriptions I had already. This was in the early 1980s, before the internet. I was asked for my credit card number and what stopped me was the woman’s impatience when I asked her two questions before handing over the card number.
    Now that those of us who are older have reached the age at which we’re more profitable to these crooks, they bombard us.
    The scams I’ve seen in Italy have all been about clicking on a link in an sms, but maybe there are many others here too.
    Thanks for writing about this!! It definitely IS a help!! Ciao!


  2. Toward the end of his sad life, my father–ravaged by alcoholism and the early stages of dementia–lost pretty much his entire life savings to Internet scammers. For most of his life, he was far too smart to be taken in by stuff like that… but they got him good in the end.

    It seems impossible to me that, in our surveillance-state world, these scammers are able to elude capture and move from one scam to another without consequences. If I make an unusual purchase on my debit card, I get an alarmed e-mail almost instantly. Am I being dense, or overly conspiratorial, or… is there something fishy about the ubiquitousness and apparently impenetrable anonymity of these scammers?


    1. no, you are correct in your assumption that these scammers are COMPLETELY and TOTALLY allowed and even encouraged, to exist and operate their fake business, product selling, and financial scams on “anyone stupid enough to fall for it” (not MY words, but something along the lines of what I’m sure are theirs) as these scammers, who may actually be working directly for The Rulers of Darkness, are helping out with the main goal of TROD in draining the bank accounts of every person on Earth and see all of their scamming – legal and so-called illegal – as nothing more than business as usual. They need to take the collective “wealth” from all of the poor and redistribute it among the few so that we are left with nothing and they have everything.


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