Did you get an unknown, unauthorized credit card charge from hfsnge.com? Here is what happened…
What is hfsnge.com?
hfsnge.com is a signup and billing site for a branded dating site Hot Fit Singles (hotfitsingles.com). A Branded Dating site is my term for a front end to a White Label Dating company. The White Label Dating company provides billing services and content in a generic fashion to the Branded Dating site. The Branded Dating site uses the short name for billing purposes and although it looks like gibberish, there is usually a loose association to the Branded Site name. I am not sure why they do this, but it does provide for discreet billing.
How did this end up on my Credit Card Statement?
With near certainty, a credit card charge from hfsnge.com came from you signing for some sort of service you thought was free. Most often, it is a “Get Verified” scam that stems from a person you thought was a potential date that asked you to verify yourself for their safety.
How does this scam work?
Here is the short version…
You meet someone online, and they expressed some interest in you. They tell you they want to meet you, but first you have to verify yourself to prove you are not a sexual predator or something along those lines.
In the “Get Verified” scam, your “date” directed you to a website that asked you to use a “free” verification service. In fact, there is a deliberately hidden charge or charges that you incur without your knowledge. They do this with programming techniques that use a different site without you knowing it, and prevent you from seeing the charges on that site. These charges range from $39.99 to as much as $130 per month.
The “get verified” dating site connects to a set click-generating web sites, that land you on the billing site – in your case hfsnge.com. They use programming techniques to prevent you from knowing this happened.
This is a complex network. There can be multiple sites and ‘redirects’ between what is shown on the web page, and where you are really typing your information. You can read the detail of how this happens here: Get Verified: Tinder, Badoo, and Craigslist – Matrix of a Scam
Can I tell what this Get Verified site was?
I cannot tell you because there are thousands of these sites, and there is a complex network that gets you from the Scam Site, to the Billing Site. (See chart above.) You can go to your browsing history around the date of the charge, (maybe a few days before) and see what is there. This assumes you have kept that history. The network is so complex that the owners of Hot Fit Singles (hotfitsingles.com) probably wouldn’t know either. At this point it really doesn’t matter, you need to be working with your bank.
Who owns hfsnge.com?
Hot Fit Singles (hotfitsingles.com) is owned by Retrotrade Limited | 16 Churchill Way, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 2DX, UK.
The U.K. Companies House registry lists the first director as LAYAL, Roxana Josephine.
What should you do about a credit card charge from hfsnge.com?
If you have an unknown, unauthorized Credit Card Charge from hfsnge.com contact your bank, and report that you did not know that you were being charged.
If you go to the hfsnge.com, you will find a page that is targeted towards handling disputes to the charges. They discourage you from disputing the charges with your bank, and they want to handle it themselves. In doing this, you will need to provide them more personal information. No doubt they want you to do it this way so that their merchant account doesn’t get suspended and they do not incur any charge back costs.
My opinion… it is not reasonable to continue to interact with parties who have deliberately deceived you. A reasonable finding of facts would conclude this is fraud. I strongly advise that you NOT contact them nor give them any more information about you. These companies are typically shadowy 1-2 person organizations using a 3rd party for the services.
This article is just a summary of what is happening in these sites. My companion article will show you in detail what happens from a consumer perspective, and why I do not recommend contacting them any further: Unauthorized Credit Card Charges
Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Board for additional information on disputing a credit card charge.