2-10-2006 StormPay Freezes Accounts   printer  

The Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee alerts the public to the business practices of StormPay.com of Clarksville, Tennessee. During the first six weeks of 2006, StormPay.com has generated more complaints to BBB than any other Middle Tennessee or Southern Kentucky business.

In the past seven days, BBB has received 18,926 inquiries from consumers around the world checking on the reliability of StormPay.com.

Complaints filed by consumers from around the world state that StormPay.com has frozen their online accounts and will not release funds due. StormPay.com is an online payment processor which acts as an intermediary in the processing of funds between a web site and a customer. "Since the end of January, BBB has received over 180 complaints from users of StormPay.com" says BBB President/CEO, Kathleen Calligan. "A review of complaints filed by users indicate that the company is holding in excess of $460,000" explains Calligan.

An email sent to at least one complaintant by StormPay, states in part "…should you choose to attempt to recover your funds through other means, that conduct will result in the forfeiture of any refund…"

The majority of complaints filed with BBB, concern StormPay’s freezing of accounts from users who participate in "auto-surfing" programs. An "auto-surfing" program reportedly generates money to the user every time a user visits a participating web site.

It is the position of the Better Business Bureau that auto surfing programs can post a financial risk to participants. Often "auto-surfing" programs are thinly veiled pyramid schemes cleverly devised to participants.

Due to the complaint volume, international scope of participants and amount of money involved, BBB is requesting the assistance of federal authorities for further investigation.