Negative Option Marketing
Don't Be Scammed By This!

Negative option marketing is a nasty little scam that can not only steal your money, but leave you wide open for identity theft.

negative option marketing identity theft money ripoff
  • Mary Hardesty is 85 and doesn’t need automobile insurance.

Why? Because she not only doesn’t drive any longer, but doesn’t even own a car.

  • This didn’t keep Bank of America from automatically taking out $20.00 a month from her checking account for a BofA auto insurance program that is sold by a third-party vendor, which her son said she never even ordered.
  • Mary called Bank of America customer service number quite a few times to have them stop the charges.

Mary even went to her local branch of the bank several times.

No one did a thing to help her stop this!

  • Mary was told she had 30 days to cancel the insurance policy, and she didn’t do it in the required time.
  • Mary asked how she could cancel this insurance policy that you never ordered. Mary never received this policy.
  • Mary never gave any personal information or provided anyone with her bank account number.

This is a perfect example of the ‘negative option marketing scam.

  • The merchant doesn’t have to ‘sell’ you anything. He assumes you bought the product and it is up to you to cancel within the period of time given, or they keep automatically billing your account.
  • On the online complaint boards, other BofA customers report they received telephone or mail offerings that were unsolicited for bank-branded insurance.
  • When the person did cancel or respond with the cancellation order, their account is charged.
  • Many other customers say they had automatic withdrawals that they had never even received any information about.
  • A spokesperson for BofA says that in some cases, mistakes were made and states because of what was heard on the customer recorded service, the spokesperson was not pleased.
  • Mary’s charges have been refunded.

Other BofA customers that have been charged for this insurance should call 1-888-665-9900. This is a new, toll-free hotline number.

Go to phone cramming to learn another form of this vicious scam.


  • ”Free” trial offers are often negative marketing options so, Beware of these.
  • Review your bank statements immediately. Customers have only 60 days to dispute charges on mailed statements under the current law.
  • In some states, an offer for services or goods cannot legally be accepted “by the silence” of the customer, so always request a contract.
  • To stop a company from sending you information about company-branded programs, send certified letters with return receipt notifications.
  • If you are unjustly charged for one of these negative marketing option programs, contact the state Attorney General at and click on “The Attorneys General.”
  • You can also go to the Federal Trade Commission at or call 1-877-382-4357 to file a complaint.

Negative option marketing scams are nothing to take lightly. These scams are becoming more frequent and much more evasive to our lives.

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