GameStop to Pay Millions In Fraud Charges

Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General, released a statement today saying that GameStop, along with five other companies, will pay millions of dollars in fines after it was discovered that they’ve tricked thousands of customers into paying hidden fees.

The scams were detected when authorities began probing various retailers’ discount clubs for hidden fees and other illegal tricks. While most of the businesses were on the up-and-up, a few, including the gaming specialty retailer juggernaut, were anything but. The probes show that while shopping on GameStop’s website, thousands of customers were invited to join a free discount club, but were then prompted to provide their credit and debit card information for identification purposes. Most of the customers, however, neglected to read the fine print, which included hidden charges and extra fees. “Consumers should be on the lookout for cash-back and other discount offers that suddenly appear online or in the form of a check,” commented Cuomo. “They are often too good to be true.”

GameStop is set to cough up $2.1 million in refunds and to fund consumer education programs. That’s a hefty fine, but it’s nothing compared to the $8 million that the marketing company Affinion Group, which has been pulling off this type of scam for years, is forking over to the government.

Representatives from each company have stated that they have settled and will pay their fines quietly, and that they have discontinued all of their criticized practices. A spokesperson for Cuomo has stated that the probes will continue into the near future, and that these businesses will be under especially close watch.