According to the article below it appears due to the recession [or prior to] businesses are delving into shady schemes to make a buck.
News.C|Net.com: Thousands of Web shoppers have complained that “mystery charges” are showing up on their credit card statements and have accused those who operate Web loyalty programs of duping them into signing up.
As a result, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is investigating Vertrue, WebLoyalty, and Affinion, companies who make “cash-back” and coupon offers to consumers and charge those who enroll in their loyalty programs
If you think anyone who unwittingly signs up to one of these programs must be an e-commerce rookie and that it couldn’t happen to someone as savvy as you, take care that overconfidence doesn’t cost you. Josh Lowensohn, a CNET News reporter and longtime Web shopper, this week found that a credit card he rarely uses was billed $12 in each of the past eight months by WebLoyalty.
Last November, after almost completing a purchase at Buy.com, Lowensohn, 26, was presented with an advertisement that asked him for his e-mail address. (See top half of ad above and bottom half at the end of this story.) He couldn’t quickly find a way to get past the page and said he remembers thinking he would type in one of his rarely used e-mail addresses just so he could complete his transaction. Lowensohn was confident he couldn’t lose anything because the advertiser didn’t have his credit card information.
For more details please visit News.C|Net.com…