Graphicstock.com?

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Crumbly Writer

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Aug 18, 2015, 11:21:05 AM8/18/15
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I just got an email mailing, asking me to hand my credit card over to graphicstock.com. There was also a report in the NY Times about a bank offering great rates selling the account info of everyone applied to various nefarious sites, resulting in millions in losses.

graphicstock might be legit, but I haven't heard of them before, and the samples I see of their work looks ... remedial.

Does anyone know anything about this company?

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 18, 2015, 11:23:54 AM8/18/15
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I just did a google on them and apart from their own website hits the rest are about a scam they're running - advice, run like hell

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 18, 2015, 11:25:21 AM8/18/15
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On Wednesday, 19 August 2015 01:21:05 UTC+10, Crumbly Writer wrote:

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 18, 2015, 11:26:29 AM8/18/15
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On Wednesday, 19 August 2015 01:21:05 UTC+10, Crumbly Writer wrote:

Crumbly Writer

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Aug 18, 2015, 11:28:20 AM8/18/15
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Only found one 'negative' discussion about them on the MacForums. The consensus, from there, seems to be that it's a lousy deal to begin with, and while they may not be bogus, the offer isn't worth the risk.

Zine

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Aug 18, 2015, 6:05:59 PM8/18/15
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CW,

"Hand your credit card over"?

Well, duh!

Zine.

rbhol...@charter.net

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Aug 18, 2015, 6:25:02 PM8/18/15
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The only way to do that is if you have a dummy card (trap) created by some legal agency to test that outfit.  Otherwise run from the offer its just too dangerous for common sense.


On Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 11:21:05 AM UTC-4, Crumbly Writer wrote:

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 18, 2015, 7:15:34 PM8/18/15
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I found the Scamadvisor report of interest. However, moste of the posts on how great it is seemed, to me. more like the work of staff schills pushing the business than real users.

Ernest

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 18, 2015, 7:18:35 PM8/18/15
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Another thing to keep in mind is any site that asks for credit card details before they give you access to a free trial period is, at heart. a scam operation - even when it is a real operation and not a total scam. The site Ancestry.com is a real business, but they go that give us the details to get your free month, and when you go to quit it's almost impossible to kill the account. They do not need your credit card details to give you free access, so always be wary of such operations.


On Wednesday, 19 August 2015 01:28:20 UTC+10, Crumbly Writer wrote:

Invid Fan

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Aug 19, 2015, 9:58:09 AM8/19/15
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Part of that may be that many users can get all the info they want in that free month, so would just quit before having to pay. If they get the credit card info first, they can at least get money from the users who forget to quit.

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 19, 2015, 10:05:50 AM8/19/15
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Their aim is to rip off the users, or they wouldn't ask. I've seen this same process at two other sites, and in each case you have to give two weeks notice to quite - time to cancel an account from their end is less than a minute (I've done the tech side in the past). And the process to quit is extremely hard and very well hidden.

No honest site wants your credit card details upfront, with the exception of a porn site following the local laws on proof of age for membership.

Crumbly Writer

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Aug 19, 2015, 10:06:35 AM8/19/15
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Part of it is that they don't want potential victims ... er, clients, to see how few resources they have to share. But like other sites, I suspect their main business plan is selling people's credit info.

Daniel

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Aug 19, 2015, 10:15:41 AM8/19/15
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There *are* honest sites which want your credit card details upfront. Well, either that or a mobile phone number which can identify a unique user in order to avoid giving endless free trials. Doing so on a per-IP basis is often enough useless and other methods (like browser fingerprinting) can be circumvented as well if the user is knowledgeable enough.

In regards to Graphicstock however I agree with you. One only needs to crawl through a few (hundred) google results to find out, that the company sometimes appears to charge the CC before the trial is even over. Since I have no experience with the company myself, I can only conclude that Graphicstock is not nearly as trustworthy as other companies offering the same service.

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 19, 2015, 10:32:04 AM8/19/15
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I can understand the phone number for ID purposes, but the credit card isn't needed for a trial period unless they intend to rip you off for a few months while you fight with them about canceling. As to a way to stop multiple free accounts, most people I know have three or four credit cards, so that don't work too well.

The Black Knight

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Aug 19, 2015, 6:20:37 PM8/19/15
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DE: how many friends do you have who have multiple credit cards with different billing addresses for each? Limiting free trials to one per name/address combination would be simple, assuming that card info was stored on a secure database.

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 19, 2015, 7:04:14 PM8/19/15
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G'day TBK,

Most have multiple addresses for their credit cards. They have some cards for their personal banking use, others for their business accounts, some with multiple businesses each with their own post office box. However, with the websites that want a credit card upfront you can register the same name and address with different credit cards, one regular at the FHC did that by using one card for their membership, another card for their spouse's membership, and a third card for their mother's membership to three different sites. All they were interested in was verifying the card worked.

Now, on a related issue, a friend got one of those pay-up-front credit cards you have to refill and they could use that to sign up for a porn site that used credit card verification for proof of age due to local law, but the pay-up-front credit card didn't work on any of the non-porn sites with the free trial period. That's got to make you wonder about them as well. BTW He did the signing up on the card as part of a research project on the Internet.

My son frequently goes to a gaming sites where you have to provide a credit card as proof of age (local law but don't know why) and the site hits him up for a buck then reverses it.

Using the name and address is a good enough check for prior free membership for a lot of websites. Heck down here Quickflix gives out free trial memberships and don't ask for a credit card, but they do ask for a name, phone number, and address and check the address for the phone number against their database, rejection if another family member has an existing account.

Lots of honest websites don't require a credit card for a free trial, but all the ones I know of that do scam you for a few months fees by making it very hard for you to quit the membership.

Ernest

Crumbly Writer

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Aug 19, 2015, 8:20:08 PM8/19/15
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Ernest, the big difference here is that they insisted on a credit card, with the security code and expiration date, BEFORE you could even view the site to see whether you wanted to join or not. I got out and pressed the "Home" button, and saw they had a crappy collection of half-assed illustrations, before deciding I wanted nothing to do with them. Again, I got sent the link via email after news reports started showing up about a bank selling the personal credit information of people applying for loans to known criminal organizations (it was, of course, a New York Times article). I'm not sure if it was a legit bank or not, but I'm betting it was some lone scammer in a dark room working off a client list he purchased online.

Deadly Ernest

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Aug 19, 2015, 8:30:00 PM8/19/15
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CW,

You're just emphasising what I'm saying about such sites being scam centres and not legitimate business operations. Wanting credit card details up front is not done by honest business people, just crooks.

Ernest
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