“It is a blatant ambush of personal credit card information”

The pop-up ad Kathy Agosta says she saw after finishing a reservation on Travelocity recently looked like a confirmation screen from the online travel agency, and it offered $20 cash back if she signed up for a service. Although she never shared her credit card information with the advertiser, she found a troubling connection.

“As it turns out, merely clicking on the hyperlink to get more information about the offer apparently allows the advertiser to charge a fee on the same credit card just used to purchase the airline tickets from Travelocity’s website,” she told me. “There is no credit card approval step on this pop-up to warn the Travelocity customer that a charge will be placed by this advertiser on the credit card they just used.”

Is this a more sophisticated version of the opt-out scheme, which Travelocity and other online agencies practice? Or perhaps another shady post-transaction marketing scheme, which may be about to become illegal?

Maybe. Maybe not.
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