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Clark Howard: Grey charges

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Updated: 7/08/2013 8:38 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They're lurking on your credit card bill and hiding in your checking account. They're unassuming charges, as little as $6 to $8 dollars, and they're from companies that you recognize. 

They're grey charges, and they're called that because you're not sure where they came from. They're snuck in the fine print of contracts of many things you sign up for online. According to bill guard one in four people are a victims.

Grey charges are completely legal, but are purposely deceptive. There are five varieties of grey charges.

First there's free to paid. Free to paid is if you've ever signed up for something for free, but forgot to cancel your subscription in time.

Next there's the unknown subscription. This is when you checked the box for one thing, but you also signed up for something else.

There's also the zombie charge. It's when a membership you canceled shows up months later on your bill.

Last, there's the cost creep. This is when you sign up for one price, but that's the initiation price, the fine print says it goes up after that.

I have two very important rules for you. First, when ever you sign up for anything, know what you're signing up for. The second, check every bill you get every month. Your credit card bills, your bank statements, your cell phone bills. Look through them for any crazy charges and then get your money back.

For more information go to

Watch Clark Howard weekday mornings on Action News This Morning on FOX30 beginning at 7 a.m.
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