Beware of Google Treasure Chest.

192 Comments

This is just a quick post warning you guys to stay far away from Google Treasure Chest. They are operating the same deceitful acts as Google Money Tree. Their presell page claims to send you a packet of information on how to make money online for just $3.88. The deceit lies within the terms and conditions.

If you sign up for their program, you’ll automatically be enrolled in their “membership program.” I don’t exactly know what this entails, but I do know that if you don’t call and cancel the membership you didn’t sign up for, you’ll be charged $72.21 in just seven days. You’ll continue to be charged the same amount each month until you manually call in and cancel your fake membership. Again, there is no mention of this within their sales pitch. You have to dig through their terms and conditions in order to find this lovely bit of information.

Another interesting note is that this program is in no way endorsed by Google. I’m actually astonished that Google hasn’t issued a cease and desist for attaching their name to these programs. It’s just a matter of time I suppose.

You can read more about this in our Google Money Tree post.

Are there more companies peddling these same tricks? Let us know in the comments below.

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192 Comments

  1. Thats why i am really afraid to work from home when u pay jobs they will not refund your money back,Then you cant get their number to get your money back its a mess.

    Reply
  2. It is not a surprise that people is put in a situation that seems legitim at a first look. People are being ripped off when for not looking before accepting, just because the ad is in a respectiful tablid. They say in the small print that you will be ripped off. If you don’t read, you will be ripped.

    All that you hear about the most stunning technology and this and that is abosolutely and by default, bullshit!!

    Start reading the shit before accepting !

    Reply
  3. Karen-

    Google is in no way affiliate with the scam. They are using Google’s popularity and name to rip people off. You aren’t talking to customer service reps at Google. It’s impossible to call Google.

    Reply
  4. I have not even been on Google except for rare occasions. I had rather use a different search engine. This month I get my bank statement and there are two charges from this company 2 weeks apart. I called the first one they say (not that I believe them) that my information was removed and I would be getting a refund of the fraudulent charge they put on my card. I called the second one this one is out of the Phillipines. You can hardly understand them. They are extremely rude, they hang up on you, and this includes their so called supervisors. Gee never a manager around. They stated I spoke with someone and requested. In no way I did not. Believe me I would recognize a accent like they have. I have requested my refund on my card. I have no information on this company and have not requested any. They state they will cancel my account but they are going to keep my money. I am calling my bank and reporting them as a fraudulent service and asking for their help to get my money back. I also just wanted to let people know DO NOT USE GOOGLE. They are only into stealing from your friends, family, and even just acquaintances. I am sorry but I do not wish this on anyone. After I called the supervisor hung up on me. This is not a company I would ever deal with and I hope everyone else will join in with me. No I am not finished yet. I will take it all the way to the top. Even as a cyber crime. DO NOT USE GOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  5. […] 01/30/2009 (IveTriedThat.com): Beware of Google Treasure Chest […]

    Reply
  6. NEEDADVICEINCA says:

    To dailyartist

    Thanks very much for the great advice. I will definitely follow it! I can’t believe I got myself into this mess. I have learned a lesson for sure.

    Reply
  7. dailyartist says:

    @NEEDADVICEINCANADA
    What you need to is go print out the pdf (detailing the lawsuit that Federal Trade Commission has against Google Treasure Chest) and take it to your bank to show that you have been scammed and have done everything in your power to try and get your money back. Have them file a dispute charge on all the debits as they were all illegal and against the law.
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923060/090622googlemoneytreecmplt.pdf
    You won’t be able to reach GTC to cancel anything as phones have probably been shut down.
    Your bank has some responsibility to return your money as the debits were not authorized by you and the debits were not made lawfully. If your bank does not co-operate in seeing that your money is replaced I would change banks if it were me.
    I would also suggest that you contact the Attorneys listed in that lawsuit and ask to be put on the list for consumers to be compensated for their money losses.

    Reply
  8. NEEDADVICEINCANADA says:

    I’m in Canada and I was also scammed. Back in April I ordered a DVD for $1.97 about working from home which I have never received. I was billed $72.21 the end of April, nothing in May, $72.21 in June and $68.48 in July. I contacted my credit card company (BMO-Mastercard) and they told me that all 3 charges were from the same organization and gave me the phone number I should call and cancel this “membership” (I didn’t realize I even joined!!!) Well…I can’t get through to that phone number or any of the other phoned numbers I have found on the WEB. I always get the same response. “The number you reached is not activated”. My bank is saying I have to cancel the membership before they can guarantee no more charges will go through. I have been given a new credit card with a new number but the bank says they can still put charges through unless I cancel! If anyone has any advise or phone numbers I would really appreciate any help I can get. Thanks!!!

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  9. Scammed_2 says:

    Also, do file complaints to bbb.org, ftc.gov and IC3.gov.

    Reply
  10. Scammed_2 says:

    I also fell for same scam. Called my VISA and they told me I had to cancel account ( DO NOT JUST CANCEL ACCOUNT WITH VISA, IT WILL NOT BE ENOUGH AS CHARGES WILL SHOW UP AGAIN) but also call each individual service shown on statement to cancel service and ask for confirmation numbers each time. Call bank back with confirmation numbers for service suspension and refund requests. That is the only way VISA can give protection from further charges and file dispute for chargeback if refund is not made within time stipulated by the service.

    I’ve done what they have told me, waiting to see…

    Hope this helps and Good luck!

    Reply
  11. Greg,
    I use Washington Mutual, well now Chase…
    What I did is ask for the Fraud Department. Then from there I had to fax over papers showing them the proof I had against the company and the steps I had taken to show this company is a scam. Print out your records if you filed complaints to the BBB and FTC etc…
    Tell the bank that you want to file a fraud charge against the company and a charge back… because the FTC states that a charge back is the only way to get your money back. I also filed a case with my local sheriffs dept and that helped as well. Its a pain… but I did get my money back that way. Going through the bank is the only way. But you need to get the Fraud Dept… and take it from there.
    Let me know if I can help you further, Nancy

    Reply
  12. @Greg
    My advice to you is go to http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923060/090622googlemoneytreecmplt.pdf and print this document out and take it to your bank as proof that your money was taken from you illegally. This document also shows that the bank released your money without the proper signature agreement for the transaction that would show that you agreed to have your account debited numerous times and the bank has some responsibility for releasing your money improperly. It should not matter how long the time frame since your money was in fact stolen by fraud.

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  13. @Greg – 3 weeks should not be too late. It depends which country you live in but I think it’s 60 days in the US, Australia and New Zealand and 120 days in the UK.

    See: http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/credit-card-chargebacks

    http://www.which.co.uk/advice/your-rights-when-paying-by-credit-card/chargeback-on-credit-and-visa-debit-cards/index.jsp

    Reply
  14. I got my refund back after filing a dispute with my bank, Woodforest. That was after about a month of fooling around with customer service and getting the run-around. I made sure I told the people at the bank that I had been getting the run-around for a month because they said it was probably too late, too, until I told them that.

    Anyone who has been swindled by these guys should make one call to customer service (just for the shear “correctness” of giving them a chance) and then go directly to their bank and file a dispute. Don’t keep calling customer service because they are not going to help you. All you’re going to get is one excuse (lie) right after another with them.

    Reply
  15. Hey Nancy, if you don’t mind me asking what bank are you with? Because i just talked to somebody in the dispute department at Bank of America and i mention charge back she said the only thing she can do is a dispute. She didn’t know what i was talking about when i said charge back.

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  16. I tried to file a dispute about 3 weeks ago my bank said it’s already too late. I’m so sick of those 800 numbers

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  17. Nancy is correct a chargeback is the way to get your money refunded.
    See: http://www.chrismalta.com/scamtip1.asp

    I agree BBB is probably a waste of time, but FTC do not do nothing – they have brought criminal charges against Google Money Tree / Treasure Chest.

    So anyone who complained to FTC had an effect and people can still complain as then you will be on their list of victims for compensation/refunds. http://www.FTC.gov

    Reply
  18. Greg,
    Yes, I did. As I said in my earlier post.. THE ONLY WAY, THE ONLY WAY to get your money back is to go to your bank and file a fraudulant dipute CHARGE BACK. You have to use the words, CHARGE BACK.
    Or if it is a credit card… to the same… you need to charge the company back the money under a fraudulant claim they used your card without authorization. They are scam artists who will not spend the money it causes to fight the claim…
    I got my money back in 2 days… this is the only way. Stop wasting time calling the hundreds of 800#s they have.. FTC does nothing, BBB nothing…

    Reply
  19. Has anybody ever got their refund back?????????????? All i keep getting is excuses from those crooks

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  20. I have been waiting for my refund ever since may 1, 2009. All i have been getting is promises

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  21. dailyartist says:

    (taken from http://scam-googletreasurechest.blogspot.com

    Today I spent some time on the FTC website reading the lawsuit that FTC has filed against the corporation running the Google Treasure Chest Scam (and other Google named scams). Hope you will take the time to go read it also. http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923060/090622googlemoneytreecmplt.pdf
    It is very enlightening and certainly vindicates what I have been saying all along about this being a scam and just why it was a scam. I don’t know what the final outcome of this lawsuit will be but I hope these con artists get locked up and the key thrown away. From what is being alleged in the lawsuit the con artists were no better than a burglar that breaks into your house and steals what they can get their hands on.

    What seems to me to be so strange about this in regard to the mentality of the con artists is “What were they thinking?” Did they really think they could get away with such blatant disregard for the law? And another thing, why did it take the law so long to go in and take some action.
    I guess the con artists think that if they out-source part of the action overseas that the law won’t be able to reach them but they better brush up on the law concerning the Electronic Fund transfer act and regulations. The law can still reach them and they can’t hide–it just might take a little longer but sometimes that makes the penalty even more stiff when it finally comes home to roost.

    The counts being levied against GTC in the lawsuit:
    Count 1. Failure to disclose material terms
    Count 2. False or unsubstantial representations regarding income
    Count 3. False representations regarding affiliation (misleading one to think Google was behind them)
    Count 4. Violation of the electronic Fund Transfer Act and regulation E.
    (it seems that they should have gotten written authorization or similar pre-authorization
    for further debits to your account plus provide you with a copy of such. Also it seems that in the unauthorized debiting of your account they did not even have proper authorization to show to your financial institution to make such a recurring debit. Makes you wonder what other loop holes the financial institutions ignore. I would think that to debit your account electronically that the banks would need to have some kind of proof showing that such a debit could even be made. )
    Section 907(a) of the EFTA, l 5 U.S.C. j I 693e(a), provides that a ”preauthorized
    electronic fund transfer from a consumer’s account may be authorized by the consumer only in
    writing, and a copy of such authorization shall be provided to the consumer when made.”
    Section 90349) of the EFTA, 1 5 U.S.C. j 1 693a(9), provides that the term ‘- ‘preauthorized
    electronic fund transfer’ means an electronic fund transfer authorized in advance to recur at
    substantially regular intervals.”

    In numerous instances, the defendants have debited consumers’ bank accounts on
    a recurring basis without “obtaining” or “providing” a copy of a written authorization signed or similarly authenticated by the consumer for preauthorized electronic fund transfers from the consumer’s account, thereby violating Section 907(a) of the EFTA, l 5 U.S.C. j l 693e(a), and Section
    205. l 0(b) of Regulation E(a) I 2 C.F.R. j 205. 10(b).

    My advice to anyone who was involved in this scam and still having a hard time trying to contact these con artists to get their money returned is to copy the FTC lawsuit PDF and take it to the bank to show them how you were swindled. The bank has some responsibility in this matter too as they maybe should have required more proof that the debit had some merit or backing before they sent your money off to the con artists.

    Reply
  22. […] names that are practically household words here at I’ve Tried That: Free Government Grants, Google Treasure Chest, Google Money Tree, and Angela Penbrook. Plus many […]

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  23. FTC vs GTC

    FTC opens all-out assault on economic cyber-scammers.

    FTC goes after Google Money Tree, Mentoring of America and others in Operation Short Change
    Full story at:
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/43177

    Federal Trade Commission v. Infusion Media, Inc., a corporation, also d/b/a Google Money Tree, Google Pro, Internet Income Pro, and Google Treasure Chest, West Coast Internet Media, Inc., a corporation, also d/b/a Google Money Tree, Google Pro, Internet Income Pro, and Google Treasure Chest, Two Warnings, LLC a limited liability company, Two Part Investments, LLC a limited liability company
    (United States District Court for the District of Nevada)
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923060/index.shtm

    Dubbed “Operation Short Change,” the law enforcement sweep announced today includes 15 FTC cases, 44 law enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, and actions by at least 13 states and the District of Columbia.
    Press release:
    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/shortchange.shtm

    Reply
  24. The above posters are absolutely right! I spent a month talking to the “CSR’s” at the numbers that are listed attempting to get my money back. They are pros at giving the “run-around.” I finally went to my bank and filed a dispute for the $72.21 and the original $1.97. The money was credited to my account within 10 days of filing the dispute!

    Reply
  25. Nancy is bang on the money. 100% correct.

    This is a scam. They stole YOUR money.
    Don’t jump through their hoops!

    Get your bank or credit card company to do a CHARGEBACK on any unauthorised transactions.

    This will get you your money back AND cost the scammers money on top.
    It hits them where it hurts (in their pocket) and it works.

    See: http://www.chrismalta.com/scamtip1.asp

    Go to your credit card company or your bank and tell them this company is a scam and you did not authorize this charge and you want a CHARGE BACK. FTC is seriously understaffed and underresourced and cannot keep up with this scam.

    By the way, this scam is starting to make the TV news. Check this short video news report by ABC about this scam:
    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/special_reports&id=6873047

    I just hope that one day these thieves get caught and punished for stealing millions of dollars from honest, hardworking people who are struggling to make ends meet in these hard times.

    Reply
  26. Do not listen to these people who state this is not a scam. They are plants from the company Google Chest. The only way to get your money back is to go to your credit card company or your bank and tell them this company is a scam and you did not authorize this charge and you want a CHARGE BACK. This is the only way \I have been trying to get my money back since May 15th. I have been to the Attorney General, BBB and the FTC.. The FTC stated that everytime they track them down and get to the address they are gone. They are very good at what they do. Forget trying the upteen numbers. They give you the run around to tire you out and keep your money. It is to much paperwork and they have to prove their service or product to keep your money on a chargeback.
    That is the only way. Go to the Fraud Dept. of your bank, file a claim for a charge Back. That is the only way you will ever see your money again.

    You must call either Safe lock, Google Chest or Grant Springs and Cancel your account first. Otherwise they will keep charging your card. Depends which one got your card number
    Safe Lock: 866-879-1260 Grant Springs: 888-247-2155

    Reply
  27. Yep, I agree with the fox :)

    BBB a bit of a waste of time, but definately do the steps mentioned above:

    File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Their job is to monitor and go after these types of scams. http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/cmplanding.shtm

    File a complaint with your state Attorney General and also with the Attorney General of Utah (where a lot of the phone numbers seem to be located)

    File complaint at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx This is a place to report internet crime and is a combination gov agency of FBI, White collar Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance.

    $72.21 is not major fraud sure, but $72.21 times however many thousands of people got scammed IS a big fraud and if they get hundreds or thousands of complaints AG, IC3.gov and the FTC will realise the scale of the scam and will eventually take action.

    Reply
  28. dailyartist says:

    @donstell noel
    Your advise on reporting to the BBB is fine as far as it goes but don’t expect any “real action” to be taken. All the BBB does is take your complaint and send it on to the business you are complaining about. If the business is a scam or is unethical in its practices then it just ignores the complaint knowing that BBB will not do anything except post a bad report which does not deter the con artist business from continuing on with their scammy way of bilking the consumer.
    That is what was done in my case of reporting Google Treasure Chest to the Utah BBB. I filed complaint against GTC and When my complaint was sent by BBB to GTC it was returned back to BBB as “undeliverable” and BBB told me that my complaint was “closed” unless I had more information or addresses to use. I then sent the list of all phone numbers and addresses that are being posted by complaining consumers on Strangely perfect website (http://strangelyperfect.tv/3401/google-treasure-chest-phone-and-address-list/) connected to the google treasure chest scam and this time my complaint was forwarded to the national BBB and they resent my complaint. This time Gtc responded with a form letter saying that they believed that they were complying with all laws necessary and no further action would be necessary in their case. How could they conclude that no further action would be needed? BIG DEAL. I guess they know that BBB does not have the muscle to do anything except act as mediator.

    If you really want some action taken you need to go file fraud charges or “transaction dispute” on each unauthorized debit with your cc card org and your bank. This forces the con artist to have to prove that they have legal right to be able to charge your account and believe me they don’t have a leg to stand on since they are
    doing the debiting without the proper legal permission that is required by law. They will have to show that they have acquired your legal permission to debit your account. When they are shown that you will really press the matter with the proper authorities they will probably refund your money if they think that will stop the legal action that might possibly result if the matter is pressed. A great many people that have been victimized will probably not take any action and chalk it up to a lesson learned and that is money the con artists stuff their pockets with. The few victims that will go ahead and press fraud charges with their financial institution will probably have the better chance of getting their money returned as the con artists will want that threat to go away without consequences to them and will probably return your money if you insist, and if I were you I would press for the return of every cent that they took from you and not settle for just some of it back.

    Reply
  29. go to the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WEBSITE and fill out a complaint. if we all go file a complaint they will take notice. http://www.bbb.org

    I JUST CALLED THEM AND THEY PROMISE TO SEND ME THE KIT AND GIVE ME BACK THE DIFFRENCE WITHIN 10-14 BUSINESS DAYS….. I GOING TO WAIT AND SEE. THEY HAVE A WEBSITE, BUSINESS NAME AND SO ON AND SO WORTH. THEREFORE MUST BE REGISTER TO DO BUSINESS IN THE USA. A FEW MONTHS AGO I RAN INTO A COMAPNY THAT KEEP TAKING MONEY OUT OF MY ACCOUNT AND I WENT TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WEBSITE AND I GOT ALL MY MONEY BACK AND NEVER HEARD FROM THEM AGAIN.

    http://www.bbb.org

    Reply
  30. Steps to Take to Recover Your Money
    1. Cancel your credit or debit card–Get a new card with new number! Your financial information has been compromised and you will be getting further debits to that card , If not now then they could come back later when you are unaware.
    2. File a fraud charge with your credit card or bank and let them sort it out. They have more muscle to go after this sort of crime. Explain to them about all the consumer complaints that are on the internet and insist that they do charge-back or file a fraud charge. Your bank or credit card organization has all the tools necessary to find out where the charges are coming from, what business is involved, addresses and phone numbers connected to the charge and etc. You may not know or have access to this information. The banks and credit card org have all this at their fingertips and are obligated to handle the problem that has resulted.
    3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Their job is to monitor and go after these types of scams. http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/cmplanding.shtm
    4. File a complaint with your state Attorney General and also with the Attorney General of Utah (where a lot of the phone numbers seem to be located)
    5. Filing a complaint with the BBB is toothless as the scam already is rated with a “F”.
    6. File complaint at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx This is a place to report internet crime and is a combination gov agency of FBI, White collar Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance.
    **********************************************************
    Read about my experience with Google scam on my personal blog
    http://scam-googletreasurechest.blogspot.com/search/label/My%20experience%20with%20GTC

    Reply
  31. I fell for the scam as well. I paid the $1.97 for S/H but I didn’t get charged the $72.00. It may have something to do with my card not allowing certain transactions to be made. I’m not sure what happened, I’m just so glad I didn’t get the charge.

    I did get the CD and it has alot of mess on it that just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t tell you how to get anything started. It has alot of software you can load on your pc and alot of money making pdf files. My laptop has virus blocker software and it found alot of Trojan files on the CD.

    I wonder who are all these people leaving posts on how this is a great opportunity and how they are making money from this. I have yet to see how this benefits anyone. I’m a pretty technical person and have been in the computer field for some years but I can’t understand this CD to save my life!

    Reply
  32. Hey guys,

    I’ve read almost all of these comments and I am just so ashamed that I fell for this.
    If something seems too good to be true then it probably is. I will always read the fine print from now on. The saying that nothing comes for free is so true.
    I’ve called all three numbers that have so far stemmed from this scam (google treasure chest, grant spring, and safelock id). Safelock was the only helpful company i reached. Their customer service was nice and canceled my account and said they would refund my money. I’m still watching out for the refund.
    HOWEVER, after watching a video from Chris Malta, I called my bank. Forget about these customer service numbers. They aren’t there to help you, your bank is. I called mine and requested a chargeback. My bank is now disputing all the fraudulent charges. Good luck everyone, stay sharp and don’t take anymore wooden nickles :)

    Reply
  33. ezekiel – don’t give up mate! It’s your money and they stole it from you.

    Watch this short video – it tells you how to get your money back from the scammers:

    Getting your money back from Scammers:
    http://www.chrismalta.com/scamtip1.asp

    You don’t have to contact the scammers again – just your credit card company – let them get your money back for you. This is the best way to get back at the scammers and get your money back. Scammers hate chargebacks! ;)

    Reply
  34. I never got my money back, all they said is the refund agency is different from their customer service thing, gosh is being 2 months, i quit, fine they can keep my 72 dollars, ignorant punks

    Reply
  35. I got suckered into this scam too! I am about to take legal action on this. It has been about a month since I called to get my money back. They tell me the same thing every time I call. “It will take 5-7 business days to get the refund.” Well I have called every 10th day, I still have not received the money back. I will be calling them again tomorrow and see what they have to say. The first couple times they said that there was an error in getting my return. There was only one person that I spoke with that seemed real enough. He had told me that he put my refund on paper to be back within the 7-10 days. But we will see what happens. Ill Keep everyone posted on my actions.

    Reply
  36. Possible class action lawsuit against Google Treasure Chest / Money Tree Scam.

    See: http://strangelyperfect.tv/3401/google-treasure-chest-phone-and-address-list/#comment-1481

    Reply
  37. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I finally got a hold of a “customer service” representative today at 1-866-957-0020. I had tried calling several other numbers and even called my credit card company as they were the ones who were able to tell me what the charge was for. I have been informed that my account has been cancelled, which I was given a confirmation number for. However, I was told that I cannot be refunded as it is past the 30 days. I signed up for the CD on April 20th and only received my statement with the charge for $72.21USD yesterday. I am extremely frustrated as I never received an emails with any account information or passwords so I just assumed I was paying the $1.97 for the CD. I didn’t even received the CD until mid-may and as others have mentioned my computer warned me it could contain a virus. I am very disappointed that I am now out of pocket $85CDN for something that could have possibly harmed my computer. I hope some sort of action will be taken to prevent this from happening to others and those who have been scammed can get their money back.

    Reply
  38. Yeah I just checked my bank account and those assholes charged me the 72.21…So i have been trying to call today to cancel my membership…ugh…stupid….

    Reply

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