While searching for the contact information of an old friend on Google, I came across a public records website that claimed to have the full dossier of him including his phone number and postal address. It was a paid site, the fee was very reasonable and anyone with a credit card could request access to that record.
This got me excited but there was a small problem though. Since this site required my credit card details and it was my first transaction with them, I decided to Google them to confirm if it was a legitimate service or any sort of a scam.
The results suggested that, somewhere hidden in the fine print, the company had a policy where they could automatically charge your credit credit card every month if you are subscribed to some particular services.
I had two options – either spend the whole night reading their 100-page service agreement to ensure that I don’t get charged extra for services that I didn’t use or skip them and try another service.
As I was not too keen to miss this opportunity of regaining contact with a long lost friend, I tried something else – I created a new virtual credit card and set the maximum limit of that card equal to the amount that I was initially asked to pay for access to that record.
I made the transaction using this new credit card and the site immediately granted me access to all the information I was looking for. And, to my surprise, it was quite accurate.
Hours later, after the transaction appeared in my bank statement, I deactivated that virtual credit card and also cancelled my account with the ‘public records’ company. Everything went smoothly and I no longer have to worry about getting charged later.