In his latest bust of online foul play, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has issued subpoenas to Pizza Hut, Orbitz, Barns & Noble and other big online retailers that give sketchy discount clubs easy access to their customers' billing info. Three marketing companies pay for space on the sites, and then trick visitors into sharing their stored credit card information through a single mouse click. "We want it stopped. We believe it is a classic consumer fraud,'' said Cuomo. Over the course of a decade Affinion, Vertue and Webroyalty have taken $1.4 billion from customers, and reports show they knew full well what they were doing.
In an email, one Webloyalty employee dropped that "90 percent'" of the people getting billed "don't know anything about the membership," reported AP. Of the host companies, Fandango has already agreed to stop sharing its customers' credit card information and pay $400,000 in restitution. Cuomo, who called the practice "deceptive" though not "illegal per se," urged the rest to follow suit.