Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Ripping another page out of the “If it sounds too good to be true…” playbook, The Consumerist posted a story this month about the apparent post-transaction marketing scam that is The Green Millionaire.

 Remember those commercials with that guy in the suit with the question marks all over it jumping around telling you how much free money you can from the government get to stay home and write a book or open a coffee shop? Only you had to buy that book? Well, this is sort of like that.

 On their site, the company touts the book as an avenue to “never pay to fill up your car ... ever again,” “Give yourself a $21,000 per year raise by staying home,” and “Install $25,000 solar panels on your house for free.”

 Alarm bells should already be ringing at this point.

 Order the “free” book, and you're automatically subscribed to “The Green Millionaire eMagazine” at a cost of $29.95 every 60 days if you don't cancel within the 14-day trial period. 

 Now, I started the order process using an alias and there is no mention of this outside of tiny print on the bottom of the page where you give your credit card info to pay the $1.95 shipping and handling. The trick is that all the payment fields are arranged at the very top of the page and the disclaimer informing you of the additional subscription is nestled at the very bottom – where you don’t have to scroll down.

 That’s how they getcha!

 So always read the fine print, go over your bank and credit card statements with a fine-tooth comb, and most importantly, if you have to give your credit card for something that’s “free”, then it isn’t.

- Darius Schwarz, Public Affairs Intern

Related Blog Posts:

Intelius banked on consumer confusion, says Washington Attorney General

Today Show spotlights post-transaction marketing

Shop online? Watch out for sneaky charges


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