What is the Blinko Scam?
So you've been scammed by Blinko? Charged money on your cell phone bill for something you didn't sign up for? Don't feel too bad, I was scammed, too. Believe me, I know your frustration and anxiety. My name is Brian and I created this website to help you get rid of Blinko. Before you continue, please read my disclaimer.
Please understand something up front... I'm not a lawyer. I cannot and do not give legal (or financial) advice. I'm just a regular guy who's trying to keep people from screwing me out of my money. So I'm not going to give advice here... I'm just going to tell you what I did to get Blinko off of my cell phone bills. Hopefully, what worked for me will work for you, too.
The Basics of the Scam...
Early in January 2006, I started receiving unsolicited spam text messages from Blinko on my cell phone. They said "Welcome to the chat"... apparently it was some sort of cell phone dating service. The text messages (called Premium SMS messages) were from SMS #69069 and had a callback # of 800-313-9695. Shortly thereafter I noticed I was being charged an additional $10 (approximately) on my Verizon cell phone bills.
Simply put, I did not sign up for, subscribe to, register for, agree to, or even WANT this so-called "service". Of course, when I called my cell phone provider, Verizon, a) they new nothing about it, b) repeatedly insisted that I must have signed up for it and not realized it, c) or possibly someone else in my household signed up for it, and d) acted like I was just some stupid customer who didn't know what he was talking about.
That's kind of funny, because customer service reps for large companies especially utility companies like phone and cable providers are typically the stupidest people on the planet. I was actually on the phone with several Verizon reps, yelling at them over and over and over... "I did not sign up for Blinko"... and they kept insisting, "But sir, that's the only way you could've possibly been signed up."
Blinko signed me up for Blinko. How they did it, I can't say. Maybe they used cell phone cloning or some other dirty, underhanded method of hacking. Maybe it's as simple as buying (or stealing) a list of numbers and just sending messages to those numbers (and billing them, too). I don't know.
What I do know is that I did not sign up for Blinko. Period.
Anyway... after a long, frustrating battle, I finally got Verizon to get rid of Blinko, remove the charges from my account, and completely disable text messenging abilities on my phone/account.
Next: The Details of the Scam...