by Rupert Insider
They bought a one year’s subscription to Koptalk for £26 or £30 and paid through PayPal.
Within 4-6 weeks Koptalk withdrew another year’s subscription for £26 from their PayPal account.
When the reader contacted Koptalk to complain they were referred to a “low priority” support ticket that was never answered.
In some cases, they took the initiative to write several emails, which went unanswered.
They tried to telephone Duncan Oldham, the sole owner of Koptalk who receives all the monies paid in, mixing business, charity and personal revenues in the same account. But he was not contactable.
In some cases they telephoned Steve McNeish, the 17 year- old step-brother of Duncan Oldham and so-called “Editor”.
He greeted them casually, in the manner of someone who had heard it all many times before. He agreed it was a mistake but smoothly suggested that since it was now done, why not just leave it so that, in effect, they would be paying subscriptions two years in advance! Then he changed his mobile number – again.
Some who wrote to us had already cancelled their membership in Koptalk before the second payment was taken. All have cancelled it now.
Some complained directly to PayPal about a fraudulent transaction and in some cases PayPal refunded their money immediately.
It appears that some who wrote to us did not understand that when they first subscribed, Koptalk had set up the transaction in such a way with PayPal that there would be an automatic renewal in one year for £26. When they found out, usually from this blog, they cancelled the automatic renewal.
But that does not explain the second payments taken in 4-6 weeks of the first.
Those were not annual automatic renewals. In fact how Koptalk managed to get them from their PayPal account is something of a mystery. Some of our readers are trying to find out from PayPal. We will report when we get the details.
In the meantime, please be WARNED.
All the stories have variations. The following is one particular story we received today (we have hidden identifying details which we have on file).
You will note that a second year’s subscription was taken from their account within six weeks of the first. It seemed to be triggered by their decision to cancel their first subscription!
It’s not unusual in Koptalk rip-offs that the victims are from outside the UK, as in this case.
This is a young couple in an isolated area. It is not cost-effective for them to call Steve’s mobile number or to pursue Oldham through the UK small claims court – and of course he knows that.
However, even UK subscribers have fallen victim to this particular scam.
Just to inform you you are right about KopTalk they are crap. I paied 30 £ for one year subscription on the 2 of November 2006 – on the 28 of December 2006 KopTalk transfeared 26 £ from my paypale account without my knowledge and approval. in the mean time I had already canceled my subscription that was done on the 12 of December.
Just keep on with your blog – and let KopTalk walk alone.
Reader’s PayPal Account Details:
All Activity – Simple View from Jun. 28, 2006 to Dec. 28, 2006
Date Type To/From Name/Email Status Details Action
Dec. 28, 2006 Payment To KOPTALK.COM Completed
Details -£26.00 GBP
Dec. 12, 2006 Subscription Cancellation To KOPTALK.COM
Cancelled Details …
Nov. 2, 2006 Payment To KOPTALK.COM Completed
ails -£30.00 GBP
Nov. 2, 2006 Subscription Creation To KOPTALK.COM
Cancelled Details …
Another email to the blog from the same reader:
“I have canceled everything with KopTalk they have got the same information as I gave you. I have also informed PayPal, but I do not care so much about the 26 £, I just hope I can warn other people who use KopTalk.
You are welcome to use the information I have sent to you – fyg the only thing I have heard from kopTalk is:
Your ticket has been received, one of the staff members will review it and reply accordingly. Listed below are details of this ticket, Please make sure the Ticket ID remains in the subject at all times.Ticket ID: XXXXXXXX (hidden by the blog)
Subject: URGENT – PLEASE ADVICE
You can check the status or reply to this ticket online at: http://koptalk.helpserve.com/index.php?_m=tickets&_a=viewticket&ticketid=XXXX (hidden by the blog)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (hidden by blog)
Password: xxxxxxxxx ( I have the password)
Please do let us know if we can assist you any further,
Reader’s email continues:
“I do not know how they were able to transfer 26 £ from my account, but for sure I have not transferred any money to them on the 28 dec 2006. I have not visited PayPal for a mounth or so, I noted it because I got a mail from PayPal
Dear XXXXX (hidden by blog)
This email confirms that you sent 26.00 GBP to KOPTALK.COM as a subscription payment.
Amount: 26.00 nGBP
Date: 28 Dec 2006
Subscription Name: Gold Club Renewal – 1 nyear
Subscription Number: xxx(hidden by the blog)
The exchange rate for this purchase is 1 DKK u003d n0.0877345GBP
If you have any questions or concerns about this subscription, please contact:
Business Name: KOPTALK.COM
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone: +44 9050280723
Thank you nfor using PayPal!
The PayPal Team
Reader’s email continues:
Well all the best, you can use all the info you have got from me.
(name and address supplied)
Readers of this blog will know that we have printed several warnings about PayPal renewals to Koptalk.If you don’t know how to cancel yours please consult this article which gives a step by step guide.
“Don’t Let Koptalk Pick Pocket PayPal ” Click for article.
Check your PayPal account. Cancel any automatic renewal to Koptalk (use the instructions given in the article).
Also check to see if there have been any unauthorised withdrawals by Koptalk. If so inform PayPal and demand repayment. Also inform Koptalk and demand repayment.
Keep copies of all correspondence and a diary. Let us know what happens. In the UK a Trading Standards officer is monitoring Koptalk. Therefore, Oldham has a big incentive to give you back your money.
We will protect your privacy, if you wish. The two people who wrote today gave us permission to use all their information because they do not want others to be ripped off. But even so we have hidden some of the identifying details they gave us.
We would like to thank them and urge them to pursue Oldham for the money he has taken from their account without permission.