Home > 2012 > Personal Finance

Stop! That’s Money, Not Junk Mail

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Over 10 million checks are going out to credit card holders as the result of the Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation settlement that I last wrote about—get this, four years ago. These refund checks are being sent to credit card holders as a result of a class action lawsuit over the setting and disclosure of foreign currency conversion fees.

I just got a check for $18.04 from the settlement and quite honestly, I could have easily mistaken it for junk mail. Like millions of others, I had filed a claim back in 2008 and had pretty much forgotten about it at this point.

Here’s what the mailer looked like when it arrives in the mail:

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these checks get tossed either inadvertently or because the recipient thinks it’s some kind of scam.

Some people who filed claim forms and documentation showing how much they paid in foreign transaction fees will get larger checks. If you have moved since you submitted a claim, you’ll need to write to:

Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation
Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 290
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0290

Here’s what the actual check looks like:

I expected to get $25 under the “easy refund option” I had filed under. But the amount I received was smaller, because the amount of claims filed exceeded the settlement funds available. But, hey, it was a little bit of extra cash before the holidays.

With anything like this, you can expect scammers to seize the opportunity and try to use it to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. I haven’t heard of any scams coming out of this settlement yet, but if you receive an email or phone call from someone offering to help you process a refund, ignore it. You will not receive phone calls or emails from the settlement administrators. Either you’ll get a check or you won’t.

Main image: bradipo, via Flickr.com

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  • http://www.4BirminghamMortgages.com Andy Gagliano

    Gerri, I just deposited my monster $18.04 check today. I’m still trying to decide what to do with all of that money. I’m thinking of a trip to Italy! I better bring my Visa so I can get the good currency conversion rates… oh wait!
    Yes, I almost threw my check away also. I just wish my check was the same amount as the attorneys who won the suit for all of us peasants.
    Enjoyed the post! Thanks for that.
    Birmingham Mortgages The Mortgage Hunter

    • Gerri Detweiler

      I was a spendthrift…gone in a day. Italy would have been nice.

  • Andrew

    What redesign would you want to see for the envelope?

    Also, scammers have already taken advantage of this, using “CHECK ENCLOSED,” “TIME SENSITIVE,” and other statements on envelopes to get people to open them. This seems to me to be about as good as you can get without seeming like you’re trying to scam the recipient.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Good question – I don’t know what would have been more effective. Wonder where the extra $ go?

      • http://www.ohiolawyersgiveback.com Andrew

        Check out http://www.ohiolawyersgiveback.com – there’s something called “Cy Pres” where unclaimed money goes to charities!

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  • Steven Spring

    I just got my $18.04 too! There’s a lot of junk mail out there, but to me this had the aura of authenticity, so I opened it. I’m torn between a large pizza with toppings and a medium pizza and a six pack. Domestic. This isn’t going to get me to Italy. Maybe the decimal point was misplaced!

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Maybe if you and one of your friends combine your checks you can get the large pizza and the six pack! Enjoy.

  • Margaret

    Thank you for writing about this. I was searching online to make sure that this was a ligitimate check and came across your story.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Glad it helped Margaret! I’ve heard from a couple of people who threw theirs away thinking it was junk mail or a scam…Wonder what happens to those funds!?

  • Taed

    I got that check (also for $18.04) on 20 November and deposited it the next day.

  • Jojo

    Yay! Can that Diamond Settlement check be far behind?

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