Consumer Watch: Bamboozled by company claiming to protect your identity


by Andy Treinen

Posted on July 7, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 7 at 6:19 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - A company selling identity theft protection is under fire from some of its customers who say they were bamboozled into a bad deal. One of them called WHAS11's Andy Treinen and Andy answered.

Tommy Pettingill says he feels like an idiot for responding to a text message that was sent to his phone.

Protection Junction claims to offer legal services and protection from identity theft.
“It’s a total scam,” insisted Pettingill. 

Pettingill says he agreed to pay $9.95 to try Protection Junction.   He was promised a $100 and then $200 gift card from Wal-mart for doing it.

 "I finally acquiesced, I give her the debit card number so I said ok $10 I can cancel in a couple of weeks,” Pettingill figured. 

But he couldn’t cancel the $110, that was almost immediately charged to Pettingill's credit card and when he called to complain and to cancel he couldn't get through.

Pettingill soon found he wasn't alone.  He found all of these complaints online from customers who experienced the same thing.

Eventually Tommy did get through.

 “And I said let me tell you what's happening. I'm about to report you to a local TV station. You all are about to get on the news. You think you beat me, you're not beating me,” explained Pettingill.

"Protection Junction is based in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The company's start date was just February of this year. When I called them to ask some simple questions like ‘what do you do and how many customers do you have’ the line disconnected.”

WHAS11’s Andy Treinen took Pettingill’s case to the BBB. 

"From all I can see, this company probably merits an F rating and probably will have one before long," said BBB President Charlie Mattingly.

The Better Business Bureau had no rating for the company when WHAS11 News first called.

But our BBB contacted the office in Washington and they changed the rating to an F on Tuesday citing 58 closed complaints and an additional 92 complaints pending.

 "And many of those appear to be what I would consider a serious nature meaning people were seriously misled or deceived, said Mattingly.
Concerned that his credit card number is now on file with what he considers a bogus company, Tommy Pettingill cancelled his credit card. Then he made one more call to Protection Junction.

Tommy never did get the Wal-mart gift card he was promised.   

He says he feels foolish.

Lesson learned.

If you have a consumer problem you'd like Andy to look into send an e-mail to