Saturday, June 10, 2006

Introducing Secret Cash Card - A Legit Anonymous Credit Card


Secret Cash Card - A Legit Anonymous Credit Card... is unfortunately what I had posted on my blog for quite some time. I no longer recommend this company to my visitors because of the excessive amounts of complaints I've heard regarding this company and the services they provide.

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 volume
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
Email: jerryklein@cox.net
Phone : 949.388.5530
Fax: 949.388.4421
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.
The 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.

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.

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.
There are also many reports (71 at the time of this posting) on RipOffReport.com for SCC.

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
US

Domain Name: NOTHINGBUTNETRESULTS.COM

Administrative Contact :
Klein, Jerry
nbnr@pacbell.net
7 MARSEILLE
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA 92677-5402
US
Phone: 949.415.0411
Fax: 949.415.0441


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 joshua@finertechnologies.com
Finer Technologies, Inc.
101 Parkview Way
Newtown, Pennsylvania 18940
United States
2153967334

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 - Information

Entity Number: 3008170
Status: Active

Entity Creation Date: 6/1/2001 9:12:53 AM

State of Business.: PA
Principal Office Address: % HAMBURG RUBIN MULLIN MAXWELL CORP
SERVICES INC
PA 0 -0
Mailing Address: No Address

Officers

Name: JOSHUA F FINER
Title: President
Address: 61 PEPPERRELL DR
LANGHORNE PA 19054-0
Where to complain to?

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.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Dr. James Shortt Convicted and Delicensed

Dr. James Shortt, an MD in South Carolina, who dispensed anabolic steroids and growth hormone to his patients has been convicted of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and delicensed by the South Carolina Medical Board. Dr. Shortt ran a longevity clinic and promoted anabolic steroids and growth hormone as a way to treat many injuries and ailments. On his homepage he has an article entitled "Steroid Use vs. Abuse". Recently many doctors who have promoted the use of steroids and other unconventional methods of medicine have come under a great deal of scrutiny in the national wide steroid scare.

Dr. Michael C. Scally, a Harvard Medical School graduate, is being pursued by the medical board of Texas for his use of anabolic steroids in treatment of conditions which would be considered "off-label" by the FDA - basically meaning using steroids to treat conditions of which they are not commonly prescribed for.

Unfortunately for Dr. Shortt, he also used another controversial treatment of chelation therapy, where hydrogen peroxide is given to patients intravenously. This apparently lead to the death of two of his patients who are now suing him. Chelation therapy is looked upon as quackery by many in the medical community.

Dr. Stephen Barrett who runs Quackwatch had the following comments:

In March 2006, James Michael Shortt, M.D.,
http://www.drshortt.com/bio.html who practiced "longevity medicine"
in Greenville, South Carolina, pled guilty to conspiracy to
distribute anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Press reports
indicate that some of the recipients were professional football
players. Shortt's plea agreement states that over a six-year period,
he unlawfully conspired with others to distribute and dispense
testosterone, stanozolol [Winstrol], nandrolone [Deca Durabolin],
fluoxymesterone [Halotestin] and oxymetholone [Anadrol].
Based on this admission, the South Carolina Board revoked his
license and fined him $10,000, the largest fine it is permitted
to impose. Shortt's criminal indictment
http://www.casewatch.org/doj/shortt/indictment.shtml and plea
agreement http://www.casewatch.org/doj/shortt/plea.pdf are posted on
Casewatch. Shortt is also being sued by the survivors of two patients
he treated with hydrogen peroxide. One had multiple sclerosis.
http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/shortt.html The other had prostate
cancer. http://www.casewatch.org/mal/shortt/bate.shtml

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Great Deal on 1GB USB Pen Drive - $22 + S/H

There's a great deal going on now for a USB pen drive made by KingMax. It's 1GB and is running for only $22 (plus shipping) at newegg.com. The drive is tiny, about an inch long and comes with a small key chain and wrist band.

Comparable USB flash drives often cost close to $100 for this size so get it while you can! It was available on another vendor last week for only $20 but they raised the price to $30 before I had a chance to buy it.

This drive works on any computer (PC/Mac) with a USB port and is 2.0 compatible. Just plug it in and the system will detect it. Great for school, work or just about anything. Get it while you can!

KINGMAX 1GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) - Retail at Newegg.com

If you're looking for a secure USB flash drive check out StealthSurfer. It's has a built in browser and email client, along with Anonymizer and other features so you can safely surf and check your email on public computers without having to worry about wireless eavesdropping or keyloggers.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

MLB player Jason Grimsley rolls on hGH source

The Smoking Gun is reporting that MLB player Jason Grimsley turned informant after receiving a controlled delivery for a kit of human growth hormone. He apparently not only turned in the person who sold him the kit, but some players he knew of that used hGH, anabolic steroids and amphetamines.

The report is in the form of an affidavit filed by IRS agent Jeff Novitzky who also headed the BALCO investigation. In it, Grimsley details how he had used steroids, GH and amphetamines throughout his career. He is said to have used Deca Durabolin (nandrolone deconate) for recovery after surgery, the same reason he claims to have used GH on multiple occasions.

Grimsley also discusses how purportedly all major league club houses had pots of coffee for players labeled as "leaded" and "unleaded" with the "leaded" coffee being laced with amphetamines.

In the affidavit he also discusses his use of Clenbuterol and prohormone 1-AD. It is an interesting read to learn how authorities busted him because he was apparently paying for the drugs by check through his own checking account and intercepted his most recent purchase of a growth hormone kit of Serostim. Growth hormone itself is not on the federal list of scheduled anabolic steroids, but it is scheduled in some states as such. However, it is against the law to possess, purchase, or sell it without a prescription and can also be considered an adulterated drug, apparently according to the affidavit. Most amateur bodybuilders don't use growth hormone because of it's high cost and low value as a muscle builder, although it has some benefits as a topical fat loss agent.

Pitcher Spills Steroid, Speed Secrets - June 7, 2006

FTC takes action against Klein Becker again - makers of Leptoprin & Cutting Gel

Klein Becker, et al. has been fined by the FTC $3 million for "making questionable weight-loss and fat-loss claims to peddle skin gels and diet supplements". Klein Becker is run by three individuals, Dennis Gay, Daniel B. Mowrey and Mitchell K. Friedlander, under a variety of different company names. They are well known for selling their bogus supplements such as the infamous "Cutting Gel" which claims to be a topical fat loss product and contains little more than caffeine, and their outrageous overpriced $150 Leptoprin which is compromised of low doses of Guggulsterones, HCA, L-Tyrosine, Aspirin and some other minerals and herbs.

The FTC has obtained a $3 million dollar settlement with sellers who allegedly violated federal law by making questionable weight-loss and fat-loss claims for skin gels and diet supplements. The settlement bars the marketers from making unsubstantiated claims in the future and from misrepresenting studies or endorsements.
This is not the first time the company(s) have come under scrutiny by government agencies. Action has been taken by them in the past by the FTC for make unsubstantiated claims against their supplement line.

On June 15, 2004, the Commission filed the Complaint in this matter, alleging, inter alia,
that Basic Research LLC and other related individuals and companies (collectively, "Respondents") marketed numerous dietary supplements with unsubstantiated claims for fat loss and/or weight loss, and falsely represented that some of these products were clinically proven to be effective, in violation of Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a) and (52). The facts pertinent to this Motion for Summary Decision are set forth in the attached Statement of Material Facts as to which There is No Genuine Dispute. Source
Dr. Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch comments:

The case is especially significant because Friedlander is one of the most egregious mail-order health scammers of all time. During the early 1980s, doing business as the Robertson-Taylor Company and at least six other companies, he took in tens of millions of dollars for fraudulent weight-loss aids, hair restorers, sexual stimulants, impotence cures, arthritis remedies, and other vitamin products. [Shearing the suckers. Consumer Reports Feb 1986, pp 87-92] The U.S. Postal service ended these promotions with a series of cease-and-desist orders. http://www.casewatch.org/usps/rt.shtml
Unfortunately, this action is merely a settlement on the part of the company and doesn't mean that they admit to have violated any laws, so their fraudulent advertisements will still be shown on TV and all the other mediums that were used previously. This is extremely common with companies who promote bogus health care and supplement products and does not seem to hinder them in the slightest way. I believe that the television stations who air these ads should take a stand on their own and stop allowing blatantlytently fraudulent ads to be displayed on their channels. Laws should be enacted that allow agencies like the FTC to pursue action against the parties that display these ads as well as for the ads themselves. In situations such as this, it is hard to boycott such companies such as television networks, who determine ratings based on only a certain category of people (i.e.: people who have Nielsen boxes installed in their homes). Perhaps a petition of some kind should be created or letters written to legislative representatives to help further this cause.

Major Weight-Loss Marketers Pay $3 Million
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