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SMS Outlet Bakersfield / Amex American Express Bogus Fraud Charge

1 Bakersfield, CABakersfield, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Be on the lookout for charges from SMS Outlet on your America Express charge.

This will probably show up as an internet charge with the company located :

Merchant Number:
[protected]
Merchant Address: 658 MCCORD AVE
BAKERSFIELD, CA [protected] USA

This address shows up on google maps as a single family home.

There is apparently a legitimate company SMS Outlet in Tempe Arizona who state they have had a lot of American Express card holders call with unrecognized charges.

Let's nip this one in the bud!

Ni
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Comments

  • Ni
      11th of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Additional information:

    Web site is sms-outlet.com

    phone number 1-800-380-9809
    which no one answers, of course
    If anyone can figure out the company name that they mention during the recording, please post it.

    Whois shows this site is owned by:
    David Dearkland
    658 MCCord ave
    Bakersfield, California 93308
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: SMS-OUTLET.COM
    Created on: 05-Mar-09
    Expires on: 05-Mar-10
    Last Updated on: 05-Mar-09

    Administrative Contact:
    Dearkland, David monaviy@hotmail.com
    658 MCCord ave
    Bakersfield, California 93308
    United States
    8003809809 Fax -- 8003809809

    Technical Contact:
    Dearkland, David monaviy@hotmail.com
    658 MCCord ave
    Bakersfield, California 93308
    United States
    8003809809 Fax -- 8003809809

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS17.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
    NS18.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

  • Bk
      11th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Actually, the company is Tempe is not SMS Outlet, they just happen to have a part of their website that is entilted" SMS Outlet" that comes up when you google.

  • Sc
      16th of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I, too. am a victum of this scam. Unfortunately, American Express will do little about it other than reverse your charges. It is a shame that there are low-life, bottom feeders like this.

  • Ni
      18th of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Yes, Amex will simply credit your account unless you pursue it as fraud. But this is not an Amex policy with you, the cardholder, it is a policy that the scammer has with Amex. Apparently, when you set up a merchant account, you can agree to have disputed charges under a certain dollar amount automatically credited back without any investigation on Amex's part.

    So, when you dispute a charge, it just gets credited and the "merchant" is free to continue the scam. In order to have it treated as fraud I had to cancel my card. I agree, it doesn't seem Amex is particularly concerned with this type of scam...

  • Ma
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am also a victim of this scam. This so called company, SMS Outlet, has charged my AMEX twice, once in March and again this week. I opened up a dispute in March and the amount was simply credited. The charge showed up again this past Sunday, so I just got off the phone with AMEX. I opened up a Fraud investigation against SMS and mentioned to them that I had come upon several blogs where this SMS Outlet had been scamming other people with charging their AMEX, so that this was a known problem to AMEX and asked why this merchant has been able to maintain an account with them. No answer to that question, but we cancelled my existing card so that they cannot make any more bogus charges. What AMEX told me is that they will actually send the charge back to SMS and notify them that rather than just opening a dispute, the charge has been reported to their Fraud department. I rarely if ever use my AMEX card, and don't even carry it with me. I can't even remember the last time I used it. The charge has been posted both times on a Sunday, which I find suspect as well. It almost makes me wonder if there might be someone working as in insider at AMEX, giving out or selling credit card numbers.

  • Rk
      28th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same here. Two charges on 5/17 for $12.60. And it's happened before.
    If you hound Amex enough, they will set up a block for the merchant. They'll try to tell you that it's a recurring charge for a service you authorized though (which it's not).

  • Sc
      31st of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Me too . . . what low-life parasites. And too many disputes on your credit cards can affect MY credit rating . . . what's with that!

  • Ti
      3rd of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I live in Bakersfield and get these charges as well. I think a visit to the address in question is in order. Anyone want to join me? Bring a club.

  • Ti
      3rd of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    YAY! Amex is opening a fraud investigation in addition to refunding the charges.
    Thanks Amex! Go get 'em!!

  • Bi
      7th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Happening to us too. we called when discovered in march statement but amex had no knowledge of any problem but by the second incident they now seem to be making more of an effort other than just crediting it back. Hopefully that is the case as this is getting very annoying. We thought we were alone at the time but now see on-line there are many like us. Hope AMEX will or can ultimately do something or we too will have to cancel our card.

  • Ke
      11th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Our small business charge card was charged three times this past month from this company, SMS Outlet LLC. We have never heard of them nor ordered anything from SMS Outlet LLC. Amex could not supply us with a phone number for SMS Outlet LLC. Amex credited us the amounts, but doesn't seem too awfully concerned that one of their vendors is scamming their cardholders. We had to really fight with Amex to get them to "block" the vendor (the charges were supposedly set up as a "recurring billing").

    I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and urge others to do the same. BBB is taking the complaint seriously, as they called me for more information today about our complaint.

  • Ni
      22nd of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Be vigilant. This scammer is really cheeky. He is now getting Amex to REVERSE your credits. You'd think Amex would be on our side but they are not...their Merchant Account folks just have the credits reversed and you are effectively rebilled. Check your statements carefully.

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