Have you ever had a free trial unknowingly turn into a paid subscription? Or discover hidden or deceptive fees turning up on your bank statement? Charges that can really add up month after month. As you know, it's a good idea to monitor your credit card and bank account statements for signs of fraudulent charges. But you should also be checking for unexpected expenses known as "Gray Charges." "Gray Charges" are usually not fraud. Instead they're legitimate charges that you may not have known you agreed to in the first place. So here's some tips to help protect yourself: Beware of any free trials that ask for your credit or debit card information in order to receive the offer. Chances are you'll be charged or enrolled in a subscription once the trial ends. If you do decide to enroll in a free trial that requires payment information mark your calendar so you remember to cancel before the free trial ends. When purchasing a product online always read the fine print and look for boxes that might be automatically checked. Be on the lookout for hidden fees or other offers tied to your purchase such as a magazine or video subscription or future product shipments. When you subscribe to something check for automatic renewals or whether you're starting at a reduced fee because you could be paying much more at renewal time. If you truly feel you've been deceived or defrauded contact the businesses to ask to have the charges reversed or for an immediate cancellation. If that doesn't work and you're sure you didn't initiate the charges contact your card issuer and formally dispute the charges. Remember, you do have options if you find you're being hit with "Gray Charges." But it's always best to try and avoid them in the first place.