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Check your bank statements as 'Google' scam grows

Money wallet AP
Posted at 2:39 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 14:39:34-05

A scam involving unauthorized Google charges is hitting more accounts from different banks nationwide.

KNXV first reported on the scam last month when Chase bank account holders were seeing the bogus charges.

At that time, the amount the Arizona news station saw was always $13.01 from Google followed by a person or business name.

Check your bank statements: Bogus Google charges appearing

But dozens of people saw that story online and let KNXV know they too saw the bogus charges in amounts of $.99, $1.07, $5, $9.99, and more.

Matthew West says he had 13 transactions on his account of $.99 each. His bank in Bastrop, Texas, had many people complaining about the same bogus Google charges.

While KNXV only saw the charges appearing on Chase accounts at first, that has changed. West's account is at a community bank near him.

People say they've seen the charges on Walmart Money cards, CashApp accounts, and even accounts for government benefits.

One person in Tulsa says he has a Discover account and found bogus $5 charges.

Another person says his Bank of America account was hit repeatedly.

So, what is going on?

You think since the Google name is being used, Google would want to shed some light on this scam. But despite attempts to get answers for you, Google has not responded to KNXV.

The news station did see one person get a $10 Google refund from a $50 dispute.

In most cases, banks are refunding the money and sending new cards. But some say even that didn't stop it.

One account holder says they had another charge "even after I locked my card."

One person says she got a new card "and now 2 new $.88 cent charges."

Another person says the day after getting a new card, "I realized there were more charges."

"The low amount of money, it seems like they are testing the waters to me," West says. He says his background is in law enforcement and he questions what could happen next and why more isn't being said now.

"Why are these financial institutions being so hush-hush about it? That's the question of the day," he asked.

Make sure you check your bank and credit card statements thoroughly.

Report any problems immediately and follow up until the charges are removed.

Bank of America didn't get back with KNXV about this follow-up story.

Chase said: "At this time, we don’t have anything else to add but hopefully you can share the info from this link with your viewers." They sent us this link to share: Having concerns about a merchant charge to your debit or credit card?“

Discover Bank said: "Thanks for reaching out on behalf of your viewers. I'm not aware of this being a widespread problem with Discover customers and can't talk to these customers specifically. However, we offer a number of ways Discover Bank customers can protect their accounts and our 100% U.S.-based customer service teams are available 24/7 to help address any questions or concerns. A few of the tools we have available for our customers include:

- Activating account alerts - Customers can set up alerts for real-time oversight of their account either by email, text and/or push notification.
- Freeze your debit card - Just like having an on/off switch for our debit card, customers can freeze their card if it's temporarily misplaced or they suspect fraudulent activity

While we proactively monitor all accounts for potential fraud and alert customers if we see anything unusual, we also offer additional tips/advice on our website here - https://www.discover.com/online-banking/security-center/ "

This story was originally published by Joe Ducey at KNXV.