Friday, February 1, 2008

VoIP provider Betamax apparently victim of a scam

It seems that the VoIP provider Betamax has to be relieved from fraud allegations which spread across the web in the last weeks. Alec Saunders had pointed to a story from which said that the mother company of Voipstunt, Voipbuster, Voipcheap, Nonoh and much more VoIP services was fraudulently charching money to credit cards and Paypal accounts of members and nonmembers. had issued a public warning:
Over the past 18 - 24 months we have had dozens, if not hundreds of complaints about the Betamax group, all from users and even non-users trying to find an outlet to vent their anger or trying to find a means of contacting the company in Germany.

In all cases the modus operandi is the same: Users who have never used the VoIP services of any of the Betamax VoIP websites find that small amounts averaging between between US$10 and US$35 are charged to their credit cards. In every single instance the credit card charge description was - BETAMAX VOIP CREDIT COLOGNE - (Cologne is the English name of Köln - the apparent headquarters of the group in Germany) and Betamax are the beneficiaries of these fraudulent charges.

At the Voxalot forum most of us couldn't believe these charges, since most of these penny pinchers there are quite satisfied with Betamax' offers. Of course their customer service is terrible. If you have a problem there's no one to call and the email support is just a joke, as I already told in "WTF is Betamax (VoIP)?". But then, there are heartbreaking stories to read in Ebay's user forum for Paypal:
jlmoore0 (7 ) View Listings | Report Jan-31-08 05:43 PST 22 of 28

I have never heard o Betamax GmbH & Co.KG HOWEVER I have just been charged £383 on my credit card by PAYPAL. I stopped my credit card & contacted Paypal - who tried to imply that someone in my household had used my account!! This seems incredible owing to the amount of complaints about this company. I am not impressed & when resolved won't be using paypal again!!

Unfortunately it turns out that Betamax is not responsible for all the wrongdoings but a victim itself, as a Paypal representative declared yesterday: View Listings | Report Jan-31-08 14:08 PST 23 of 28

Hi All,

If you are seeing fraudulent charges in your PayPal accounts, your login information has been compromised. Please contact us ASAP and an agent will assist you with reporting the fraudulent transactions and resetting your login information.

Its also important to keep in mind that while this company is showing on the charges, they are a victim as well. It's quite unlikely they are behind the fraud itself. Rather it would be the spoofers who gained access to your accounts.

I apologize for the inconvenience and will pass this information onto the necessary individuals for review.


Betamax was caught in a trap: Their terrible customer service has made the fraud charges highly believable, although they are not very plausible. Few people wondered how Betamax could have charged a Paypal account secretly a second time, when the customer only gave a one time authorization. Even more unlikely was the allegation that they charged people who didn't even know the company.

From where should they have had these credit card data?

It seems that the company and these poor people fell victim to a phising attack. But I have to repeat my claim to Betamax: Please be more open! Get a press department! Talk to your customers!

Don't leave room for conspiracy theories!

1 comment:

  1. The complaint in the post above is a lie - there are not dozens of complaints in the Voipbuster forums about automated credit card charges.

    And the given reason is a misattribution as well. Some people have had their accounts blocked by Betamax because of trying to credit VoIP accounts in more than one country, with more than one invoice address, with the same credit card.

    People are warned in the VB forums about trying to do this


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