Secret Cash Card - A
When I first came in contact with SecretCashCard.com the company was a legitimate service. They provided a virtual anonymous MasterCard to customers who paid a flat one time fee of $39.95 (now $49.95) and the user could then reload the card using the GreenDot Universal MoneyPak. I read about the company and who backed it and emailed and asked to become an affiliate for it. I spoke to the owner, Jerry Klein over the phone and he was very upbeat and sincere about the card and the company. He told me about other companies he was starting to form and everything sounded good. I had been recommending the card to friends and other people and heard no complaints. I received one affiliate payment for referring several people to the card. I also emailed Jerry's partner, Joshua Finer and made numerous suggestions on how services and access to the card might be improved.
After about six months or so I started receiving emails from people telling me that they had been ripped off by SecretCashCard (SCC) and that it was fraudulent. I didn't think much of it, since many companies have occasional problems and and I told the people to contact customer support and they should be able to take care of it for them. I also forwarded the emails to Jerry and Josh to see if they could help out. I started to not hear replies from them. I emailed them and tried to make contact with them numerous times over a long period, but received no response. Then, I started checking the stats for my affiliate sales and noticed that although I had accumulated several, I wasn't being paid, and then the amounts that were showed being sold disappeared. So, I started searching around and seeing a large number of complaints all over the web. People on forums, Ripoffreport, and the BBB all had complaints with this company - most of them applied for pay day loans and then received the card without requesting it. They were forced to pay the fee for the card and could not get in communication with the company to cancel it or be reimbursed. I stopped recommending the card to friends and other groups, but I left the issue alone. I was busy and hoped that the situation would resolve itself.
Now, after a long period of inactivity and non-response from SCC, I've decided to remove the post on my blog which talked about the card and recommended it. I believe that although the company and the people who ran it started out with good intentions to provide a legitimate service, somewhere along the road greed got in the way and now they are not a reliable company. I recently checked the Better Business Bureau's report on this company and was started to see that there were over 200 complaints made. Because of this, I have decided to publish the details about the two individuals who ran this company in hopes that anyone who was ripped off by them can have their complaints addressed and their money refunded. I too am a victim of this company. I signed up to sell a service which I believed was trustworthy and receive a small profit for doing so, but instead, people who I recommended the card to and purchased it were left with a basically unusable card and me spending time advertising for a company and was not paid as promised for my time and effort.
Please note that some of the links below contain an addition from anonym.to. This removes the refer of the originating website (my blog). I have done this to try and protect myself from liability issues from releasing the data I have online. Please also be aware that the information posted below is my owned saved data and could be out of date. I collected it some time ago and the persons in question could have changed addresses and phone numbers. I am not accusing anyone of committing fraud, a scam or any type of crime. I am simply making this information (which is available publicly through various search engines) available to those who wish to view it.
SCC was originally started as Jerry Klein as a subcompany of another service he provided called Private Date Finder. According to him, this site was started to allow men and women already in relationships the ability to look up other people online for "dates" outside of their relationship and still keep the information private from their partners. SecretCashCard was started to aid this service by allowing the users of Private Date Finder to keep their credit card bills secret. When you bought the card, it also came with software that allowed the user to clear their browser history and cache so as to prevent their partners from discovering what they had been up to. I was offered the chance to also be an affiliate of the date finder service but I declined because I was more interested in offering people the privacy and security of an anonymous credit card. When the service was first started, it was called PrivateICard and was covered in a story by Adult Video News. Although the PrivateICard site now redirects to SCC, it can still be viewed in part on the Internet Archive. The original fee for the service was $9.95. PrivateICard also had an affiliate program that allowed webmasters to sign up and offer the card to their visitors. Here is a copy of the original pitch given to potential "partners":
NEW! PrivateICard (safe online debit card), payout $from 50%, scaled on volumeThe links are no longer active, but I believe that the email address and phone numbers are still valid. The registration data for privateicard.com now shows up as a proxy domain registration.
Description: The first payment card designed for confidential and private online purchases. It's a unique new offer for a FREE virtual Visa debit card and over $200 in benefits including a proprietary patent pending Web based privacy service. Debit card offers are doing very well and they generally require fees and minimum loads in excess of $50, privateIcard requires absolutely no fee or initial load to be issued a Visa card.
Payout: from 50%, scaled on volume
Action required for payout: Sale
Action require payment?: Yes
Desired media: Email, Newsletter, Popups, Banners, Textlinks, Affiliate networks.
Target market: Offer appeals to anyone seeking privacy with online purchases and those with sub-prime credit that need a Visa debit card.
Review creative samples: http://www.privateicard.com/creative/email2.html
Landing page link: http://www.privateicard.com
Partner sign-up site http://www.privateicard.com/partner.html
Contact name: Jerry Klein, First Privacy Financial
Phone : 949.388.5530
Comments from Advertiser: This is a member benefit business model with an initial $9.95 to join and compelling values in excess of $200. Launched in early November 04 and over 200,000 virtual debit cards have already been issued. No credit required and card is instantly activated.
SecretCashCard now has a "F" rating on the Los Angeles BBB for having over 200 complaints. You can read some of the complaints here. According to the LA BBB,
Complainants generally allege that they received unauthorized drafts from this company for $49.95 for a product that they did not order or were applying for pay day loans and were subsequently charged for this service which they did not agree to. Some complained that they never received any debit card from the company.There are also many reports (71 at the time of this posting) on RipOffReport.com for SCC.
The company generally responds by providing refunds and stating that while applying service such as cash advance loan applications customer legally authorized us to debit his bank account and that they have authorization details including the computer number (IP) etc.
The address I have for Private Date Finder, the parent company of SCC, is:
Private Date Finder, LLC.
14 Monarch Bay Plaza , # 301
Monarch Bay , CA 92629
888-394-1053 x 3
This data came from another website (currently offline, but cached in the Internet Archive) called EverPrivate.com. The domain registration data for this site is also now registered by proxy and I am not sure if the above information is still valid. I could find no such company registered in the State of California called Private Date Finder, LLC. The only company registered in the state I could find was First Privacy Financial, LLC.
Another company owned by Mr. Jerry Klein and affiliated with both companies is NothingButResults.com. The information on the contact page corresponds to the WHOIS registration data which is:
KLEIN, JERRY **
23731 Montego Bay
Monarch Beach, CA 92629
Domain Name: NOTHINGBUTNETRESULTS.COM
Administrative Contact :
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA 92677-5402
The other individual involved with SCC was Joshua Finer, who runs a software company called Finer Technologies. The domain, finertechnologies.com, redirects to Software4Parents.com, a site that sells software to assist parents in helping prevent their children from accessing unwanted content on the internet. The WHOIS data for finertechnologies.com and software4parents.com gives the following address:
Finer, Joshua firstname.lastname@example.org
Finer Technologies, Inc.
101 Parkview Way
Newtown, Pennsylvania 18940
Joshua Finer wrote the software that is given away "free" along with the purchase of the SecretCashCard and is also sold as PrivateIZapper, available at privateizapper.com. This site has the same registration data as the two domains listed above, but is registered under the company "First Privacy Financial, LLC".
According to the State of Pennsylvania, Finer Technologies is listed with the current information:
Business Corporation - Domestic - InformationWhere to complain to?
Entity Number: 3008170
Entity Creation Date: 6/1/2001 9:12:53 AM
State of Business.: PA
Principal Office Address: % HAMBURG RUBIN MULLIN MAXWELL CORP
PA 0 -0
Mailing Address: No Address
Name: JOSHUA F FINER
Address: 61 PEPPERRELL DR
LANGHORNE PA 19054-0
Besides the BBB and RipOffReport.com, there are three other companies behind SecretCashCard. SCC is essentially a PrivaCash card. All of their available products are licensed through MasterCard. Privacash is backed by Key Bank. So, those are the three other companies you could complain to regarding the operation of SCC.
You can contact all three companies and tell them about your experience with the card. If many consumers complain, they can remove licensing rights from the card which would basically put the company out of business. If you received your card from a service that provides payday loans, you probably want to complain to them as well as to the FTC. But, I would recommend you not use payday loan services in the first place. They are very much like modern loan sharks, charging extremely high interest rates and have very shady terms. The only real difference is they have a store front. Read the FTC alert on payday loans for more information.
You can also complain to your attorney general as well as state and consumer protection agencies in PA and CA. Order a free copy of The Consumer Action Guide (or read it online - PDF format), the indexes provide the information for the two links above.
Finally, I also recommend an article I wrote myself on situations like these that has helped many people in coming to a resolution for customer problems. Pogue's Blog: "How To Resolve Complaints and Get your Money"
In the meantime, if you are looking for an private credit card, PrivaCash offers the same services as SCC, usually at little or no cost. It acts as a reloadable debit card that you put money into and all information is kept private. Be aware that there are lots of people out there that claim to sell anonymous credit or debit cards. Some do and some are legitimate, however, there are also many scammers out there.
If you know of any other legitimate anonymous or private credit or debit cards please let me know or post a comment. Also, if you find any errors on this page or want to post your experience with this company, feel free to do the same.