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How To Avoid Getting Scammed For Car Rental Overcharges and Phone Bills and Gym Memberships After Cancelling

Whenever I cancel a gym membership I cancel my credit card and get a replacement.

Sometimes I don’t bother to cancel the membership (because I know it’s usually pointless) and I never give them valid information at signup because even if I cancel, ABC Financial will continue charging me infinitely so that’s the procedure. I’ll send an email saying I am cancelling but that’s it, I’m not wasting my time going in to find out months later it was never canceled.

One time I got a membership that used my bank account. Despite canceling I was charged for 6 months before I noticed (since I was traveling), never ever again will I use a bank account or I’ll close my bank account and open another one after cancelling a gym membership. Yes it’s that serious, once they have your details they might continue charging you forever or even months or years later and call it a “glitch”. And whatever you do never ever give them your SSN. If they require it, find a different gym.

I’m about to rent a car and I will immediately cancel my credit card after paying for the car and driving away with the car and get a replacement card. The car rental company will have no way to charge me for scam overcharges besides stealing the deposit for fake damages, which I’ll tell you how to avoid as much as possible.

After the rental is over I will change my phone number and email so they have no way to contact me.

Phone Company Charges After Cancellation Scam

Did the same for a phone company in another country where I had a prepaid plan who tried to continue charging me for additional months and sent it to collections. I did get them to cancel the bill in writing because there was no way for them to charge me or even collect a payment (they don’t accept credit card, only the local country bank account, now I know why. I had paid in person at the store each month).

The collections company even after everything still tried to claim I had some random 1 dollar owed, but I just replied saying I don’t owe anything (because I don’t) and that they will never collect, and blacklisted their email. Of course, they don’t have any way to call me, I cancelled that number, that’s what this was all about.

So glad that I did prepaid instead of a monthly postpaid plan, and after all, prepaid was cheaper.

Tips For Avoiding Rental Car Damage Scam

Most importantly you need to take comprehensive photos and videos when picking up and when dropping off, inside and out, and return it in as good or better condition as when you picked it up.

Document every side, front, back, top, bottom, inside, the dash, the gas gauge, the mileage, literally everything. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to filly do this and it’s worth every minute.

Then email it all to yourself so there’s a time stamp.

If you have a long term rental if there is any damage like a ding or scratch it’s worth paying for the minor repair yourself and never telling them. It’s not unethical, they are scam artists and will exploit you and rob you at every opportunity. If you have the car rental for a long time, do a full detail of the car before dropping it off.

Use a credit card that sides with you when you are scammed out of your deposit. Never use a debit card because it blocks your real money and it’s really hard to dispute.

It’s best if you find a rental company who doesn’t require a deposit, but it’s rare and often more expensive.

Watch out for huge deposits in the fine print. In Croatia I almost rented a car but discovered a $1500 (USD) deposit and cancelled the card and the rental and disputed the $10 up front payment and got my money back. Since I had cancelled the card, I never got any more charges, they had no way to charge me.

If possible pay more in person rather than paying sight unseen. Yes it usually costs more but there’s a reason sight unseen is cheap: it’s not actually cheap in the end when they steal your deposit for fake damages.

I rented a new Volkswagen in Lithuania and instead received an old and wrecked Toyota with the bumper falling off. They did replace with the correct car a couple days later. I could have cancelled it then and there though but I would rather have a car than no car. I documented everything including pictures of every page of the contract, as usual. Always do this.

Never pay for their damage waiver. It probably won’t really cover you and can double the rental cost. Instead either get a travel insurance that covers car rentals, or check if your credit card has coverage, or just document everything and don’t damage the car, and cancel your card before returning the car to avoid them overcharging it. A minor inconvenience but worth it.

Hope this helps you avoid scams from these unscrupulous companies! Sometimes there is no choice for an honest company, because they either are overpriced or don’t exist. I know that some small gyms in small towns exist, and maybe even some small family-owned car rental companies, but I will never trust them.

I’ll do everything right on my end as much as possible, but I’ll never trust any company in any country to do the right thing. I’ll always go to extreme measures to protect every dollar from being scammed, and I recommend you do the same.


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