The MyChargeBack Blog

Love Need Not be Blind: Stay Away From Valentine’s Day Scams

Love is a complicated emotion. And if you fall for a romance scam it will be a losing proposition.  When Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, Valentine’s Day scams move into high gear.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, romance scams of all types increased sharply over the last few years. The statistics show that in the United States alone, victims reported more than 21,000 romance scams to the authorities in 2018. This is a sharp increase from 2017, when the figure stood at 16,900. Over this period, reported losses rose from $88 million to $143 million. Results for 2019 are still unavailable but if the trend continues, you can bet that things will only get worse.

Don’t Trust What They Tell You

Romance scammers generally source their victims online through dating sites, apps and social media. They misrepresent themselves by using fake names, fake photos and fake profiles. Scammers slowly build trust with their victims over a period of time. Once victims fall in love with the scammer, they’ll be willing to comply with any request. At this stage, the scammer moves for the kill and requests money through wire transfers, gift cards or cryptocurrencies.

The lead up to Valentine’s Day provides the perfect cover for cybercriminals to set the trap. By hiding out among the many legitimate dating websites, scammers conceal their true intentions and make their move.

Other Examples of Valentine’s Day Scams

Flower Delivery Scams

On or just before Valentine’s Day the victim receives an email or phone call from a supposed florist. The fake florist will then ask the victim to provide a little bit of information to assist with a flower delivery from a secret admirer. Using sophisticated techniques the scammer is able to obtain personal or financial information for fraud and identification theft.

Fake eCards

Scammer often send an innocent looking Valentine’s Day eCard to victims. The victims, in their excitement, will open the eCard without thinking of what might happen next. The eCard, however, will include malware or links to dodgy websites designed to steal your personal information.

Tough Love – How to Avoid Falling for a Valentine’s Day Scam

The best advice to avoid becoming a victim of Valentine’s Day scams is to trust your instincts. We all have a built-in system to detect a threat. If it sounds too good to be true, don’t ignore your internal warning signals. Below are a few points to keep from getting scammed when looking for love on Valentine’s Day.

  • Stay away from stories that are designed to pull at your heart strings sent by strangers requesting money
  • Never share your personal information such as usernames, passwords, bank account details, or credit card numbers with strangers
  • Don’t send money or gifts to anyone you haven’t met in person
  • When conversing online, take your time to evaluate the people you speak with; evaluate responses and look out for inconsistencies in their stories
  • Call to verify a request from someone you know; don’t rely on social media messages
  • If you suspect a romance scam, immediately cut off contact and notify the site

Cashing in on the Coronavirus

The world’s attention has turned to the latest pandemic coming out of China. The coronavirus is causing panic and concern. The World Health Organization is working with global experts and governments in an attempt to diagnose and contain the Coronavirus. But what it cannot stop are scammers who are cashing in on the Coronavirus.

News of the epidemic first made headlines in early December 2019. The death toll is slowly approaching 500. Estimates are that infections are in the region of 24,500 and growing.

Needless to say, scammers never miss an opportunity to cash in on a major crisis or tragedy. This incident is no different. Each day, more reports of scams that attempt to cash in on fear of the Coronavirus continue to stream in.

Cashing in on the Coronavirus with Phishing Scams 

Always beware of emails sent to individuals and businesses with an appealing subject line to draw you in. Claiming to represent a reputable organization, the scammer offers links to exclusive information and content based on trending news headlines. Links then direct the unsuspecting user to malicious websites where credit card and identity theft occurs.

This approach is now popular with Coronavirus scammers. One example is a phishing email doing the rounds that purports to come from a professional virologist. The email consists of articles and links claiming to contain information on how to best protect yourself from the virus.

Cashing in on the Coronavirus with Online Retail Scams

As international concern regarding the virus increases, the demand for face masks to help reduce the risk of exposure is rising.

While some healthcare professionals debate the effectiveness of such masks, consumers continue to purchase large numbers of them online. That’s an open invitation for scammers to rush in with websites of their own and take advantage of the demand. There are scammers who are hawking defective face masks. For that reason, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning to consumers regarding possible resale scams involving these products.

Therefore, consumers should keep a close eye out for fake websites. Ignore sponsored advertisements, deceptive posts and links on social media sites, which are known to be venues for scammers intent on cashing in on the Coronavirus.

How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus Scams

Scammers are criminals. They have no moral inhibitions about taking advantage of a global pandemic in order to steal money from people overcome by uncertainty.  Nonetheless, there are a number of ways in which you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of scammers who are cashing in on the Coronavirus.

Phishing Scams

  • Look at the sender’s email address. If it is from an unknown user or looks suspicious in any other way, delete it.
  • Don’t click on any links received in an email from an unknown or suspicious sender.
  • If you receive an email from a known source, hover over the link with your mouse before clicking to confirm its destination.
  • Look out for red flags, such as words like “exclusive,” “sensational” and/or “shocking.” They are widely used by scammers.

Online Retail Scams

  • If the retailer does not provide a physical address and contact information, consider it a scam unless you can prove otherwise.
  • Use a credit card to make online purchases.
  • Do your research on the product and market prices to ensure that the amount you are paying is not exorbitant.
  • Avoid online marketplaces such as Craigslist, which is a popular site for scammers to operate.

Scammers understand that in unpredictable times, people become desperate for information, comfort and security. They know all too well how to play on consumers’ emotions and take advantage of their vulnerabilities. Trust your instincts and ensure you make sound decisions based on the facts, rather than emotion.

Super Bowl 2020 Outages Leave Fans Furious, But What About Their Money?

The morning after the Kansas City Chiefs won their first NFL championship in 50 years, millions of fans outside the United States were outraged. Actually, judging by their posts online, the Super Bowl 2020 outages they experienced left them seething with anger.

The league’s official streaming platform, Game Pass, repeatedly failed during the broadcast. Worse yet, the signal died during the most crucial part of the game. Instead of seeing how Kansas City came from behind to win the game with only a few seconds remaining on the clock, international fans were left staring at a blank screen.

For its part, the NFL fessed up to the snafu. It apologized, claiming that Game Pass simply was not able to handle the number of fans who tuned in. It also offered subscribers an automatic 20 percent refund on the cost of their subscription.

But is that – or should it be – the end of the story? Is 20 percent fair compensation? What about fans who bought a full year’s subscription but may not have used the service until the Super Bowl? Or fans who only bought access to post-season games? Do they deserve the same percentage compensation as fans who watched every minute of every game broadcast during the full season? And what about other streaming services  that also went dark when push came to shove? (Hulu, which ironically ran an ad featuring Tom Brady during a Super Bowl commercial break, is one.)

This Is a Complex Dispute Resolution 

Questions such as these are what makes this a particularly complex dispute to resolve.

On the one hand, the cold fact of the case is that Game Pass collapsed under pressure only for a short amount of time. It successfully delivered all the service that fans contracted almost all the time. Super Bowl 2020 outages were unexpected and unintentional occurrences.

On the other hand, the service that Game Pass failed to provide was the climax of the entire season. Those last six minutes were the most exciting six minutes of the one game that the NFL knew very well that virtually every subscriber would watch. They knew the numbers but apparently didn’t ensure that the infrastructure would be able to handle the traffic.  

Is a dispute justified? What we can tell you is that the rules governing Visa and Mastercard disputes are clear-cut. They are not a matter of opinion.

Super Bowl 2020 Outages: How to Resolve a Dispute FAQs

  • What comes first?

Begin with the merchant. Try to settle the issue amicably by emailing Game Pass or the other streaming service you relied upon to see the Super Bowl. Ask if they would be willing to provide you with a full refund. You cannot (and should not) undertake the following steps unless you tried to negotiate a mutually acceptable compensation directly with the merchant. After all, Game Pass has already come to the table.

  • What if the streaming service refuses to give me a full refund?

In the event you cannot come to an agreement with the streaming service, the next step is to turn to the dispute department at the bank that issued you the credit or debit card you used to pay. Ask them how to raise a transaction dispute. To do so you will have to supply documentary evidence of the transaction and the merchant’s failure to provide you with the service that was contracted, namely, the Super Bowl broadcast.

  • What is a transaction dispute?

A transaction dispute is the necessary first step in obtaining a full refund through the intercession of your bank. In credit and debit card terminology, such a refund is called a chargeback. In simple terms, a chargeback is the retroactive cancellation of the transaction you are disputing. 

  • And then what happens behind the scenes?

Should your bank agree that the reasons you cite for requesting a chargeback are justified, it will send your dispute on to the merchant’s bank. It will then inform the merchant, who may respond accordingly. You will be able to reply to that response. 

Conclusion

No doubt this all sounds like a long and complicated process. That’s because it is. But keep in mind that it’s an established procedure governed by guidelines formulated by the credit and debit card companies themselves. When consumers do not receive the level of service they ordered, they are justified in getting their money back. And that includes you.

Creating a Defensive Shield Around Forex Scams

What Are Forex Scams?

Foreign exchange trading is all the rage at the moment. Users from across the globe are scrambling to get in on the action and make their fortunes. So are the operators of forex scams.

But what is forex trading and how do you protect yourself from becoming a victim of forex scams?

The Foreign Exchange Market

The foreign exchange market is a localized international market for the trading of global currencies. In simpler terms, it’s where you trade pairs of currencies, like buying US dollars with British pounds. A recent survey indicates that roughly $6.6 trillion passes through foreign exchange markets each trading day.

Know Your Broker — Regulated vs. Unregulated

Forex trading first became available to retail traders as early as 1999. Since that time, many fake trading platforms have popped up online. They are forex scams. And they bring a wave of devastation upon their unsuspecting victims. 

Scam brokers are international criminals with no moral compass. They have no problem leaving their victims penniless and destitute. The sites they operate are unlicensed by reputable national financial regulators. To make it hard for anyone to identify them, unregulated brokerages generally base themselves in safe havens offshore. The most popular destinations to conceal their operations are generally Eastern European countries and small, isolated island states. Their modus operandi is to create the illusion that clients are trading, but, in fact, no trading takes place. Only when clients decide to withdraw their funds do they realize something is not quite right.

Types of Forex Scams

There are many types of forex scams. Below is a list of the most common ones:

  • Signal seller scam companies or individual traders who claim, based on so-called “expert” recommendations, that they can identify the best times to trade. They draw their victims in by misrepresenting their knowledge, abilities and success through fake testimonials and endorsements. Once a victim deposits a significant amount of money, the scammer disappears without a trace and cannot be contacted further.
  • Forex trading robots, which use trading programs with complex algorithms to signal when to enter and exit a trade. Many of these systems are not tested by independent third-parties. As a result, invalid parameters and optimization codes generate unreliable signals. Since reliable systems do exist, traders should do their due diligence before signing up even with any broker.
  • Managed accounts scams, in which victims put their trust in the hands of a “professional trader” who trades their capital in exchange for a percentage of the profits. The problem, of course, is that unsuspecting victims are trusting total strangers simply due to the allure of financial success. These managed accounts often turn out to be scams. The  “professional trader” ultimately disappears along with the invested capital.

How to Spot a Forex Scam

The best advice is to use common sense, do your research and due diligence. Do not fall into the trap they set by promising quick wealth and grandeur. Follow your instincts and do not base your decisions on emotion alone.

Ensure that the company is a registered and regulated brokerage in your country. Look for customer feedback on independent review sites. It is also important to ensure that the company has a verified track record and trading history.

Be wary of companies advertising on Facebook and other social media platforms. Offering profits, rewards or bonuses for opening accounts is a red flag.

If you sense you may be caught in a scam, contact MyChargeBack. We have assisted clients recover millions of dollars of lost funds due to forex trading scams.

Yes, Scammers Do Get Caught

Not all scammers are pros. Some scammers do get caught.

The most common questions scam victims ask when they contact us at MyChargeBack may very well be these:

1. Do scammers get caught?

2. Do police ever arrest them?

3. Will they ever serve time in prison?

The answer to all those questions is “yes.” Some scammers do get caught, and the chances are excellent that those who are will wind up in prison. Others, perhaps most, are luckier, and get away with it.

Amateur Scammers Do Get Caught

You may have missed it, but earlier this month two Mississippi men tried to fake a winning lottery ticket. Their story sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine, but it’s absolutely true.

The dynamic duo from the Magnolia State pasted the winning numbers on their lottery ticket in a vain attempt to claim the $100,000 prize. That was a fatal mistake, since it was a “scratch ticket.” The numbers on scratch tickets are invisible when you buy them because there is a silvery film that  hides them. Buyers literally have to scratch it off with a coin or their nails to uncover the numbers underneath, so lottery agents will immediately spot anything pasted on them. And that’s exactly what happened. Police arrested the two after they showed up at the lottery office to collect what they expected to be their ill gotten gains.

International Cooperation

In October 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice made a dramatic announcement. Extensive international coordination resulted in the arrests of 281 scamming suspects across four continents. A total of 167 in Nigeria, 74 in the United States, 18 in Turkey, and 15 in Ghana. Police in France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom arrested the remainder. The codename of the joint effort was Operation reWired, and it was the largest such bust of scammers in history. But it wasn’t the first such international effort.

A few weeks earlier the Department of Justice indicted 80 others and charged them with money laundering. Authorities succeeded in locating and arresting 14 of them by that time.  And a year before, another international operation called Wire Wire succeeded in nabbing 74 alleged scammers.

Yes, You Can Catch a Scammer Yourself

It sounds like the theme of a comedy film, but yes, there are instances in which the intended victim turns the tables and winds up catching the scammer. The most notable (and probably the most comical) case involved an intended victim named William Webster. If that name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, he happens to be the only man in history who served as director of the FBI as well as the CIA.

In 2014, a Jamaican named Keniel Thomas contacted Webster (among, it turned out, many others) claiming he was calling from Mega Millions, one of the two main jackpot lotteries in the U.S. He congratulated the former FBI and CIA director for winning several million dollars and a Mercedez-Benz in the jackpot. To collect the cash and the car, Thomas told Webster that he had to send him $50,000 to cover taxes and other assorted fees.

Webster understood immediately that it was a scam. He alerted the FBI, which arrested Thomas in New York in 2017 when he stepped off his flight from Jamaica. A court convicted him and the judge have him a prison sentence of more than six years. Webster, of course, never paid Thomas, but others did. All told, Thomas succeeded in scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from his victims.

What You Can Do

The moral of the story, however, is that you too can catch someone who attempts to scam you. If you suspect that someone who contacts you is a scammer, report it to your local law enforcement authorities. If the scam involves investments or trading in stocks, bonds, forex, CFDs, binary options, or other type of financial instrument, report it to your relevant national financial regulator.

But if you are the victim of a scam, know that we at MyChargeBack are on your side and are ready to assist in recovering your funds.

‘Twas the Scam Before Christmas

“’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.”

— from the poem by Clement Clarke Moore

The mice might not be stirring the night before Christmas, but the Christmas scammers are. Not all through your house, of course, but all through the internet. And if you don’t take the necessary precautions when you shop for Christmas presents, the scammers, rather than St. Nicholas, will soon be there. You’ll be a victim of a scam before Christmas.

In America, the holiday shopping season traditionally begins on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. In recent years, Black Friday expanded far beyond the borders of the United States. It is now a truly international phenomenon. The initial shopping rush now extends past the weekend into what has become known as Cyber Monday.

From then on through Christmas eve, shopping is at its apex. Last year, holiday-timed purchases exceeded $1 trillion. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts it will break that record this year. As you can well imagine, scammers see the holiday crunch as hanging fruit, ready for the picking. After all, when demand is at its peak, legitimate merchants may have a hard time keeping up with demand. And the closer Christmas is the more the demand grows. The NRF estimates that 18 percent of Americans wait until December to buy their holiday presents.

It’s Easier for Christmas Scammers than Ever Before

The only challenge holiday scammers face, therefore, is leveling the playing field to enable them to compete with real merchants. That was a problem yesteryear when people shopped in brick and mortar stores. For the most part, they no longer do.

The internet is the reason why. According to Deloitte (which is the largest professional services network in the world), two-thirds of American shoppers begin their search for holiday gifts online. And that statistic is also growing year-by-year. Now add to that two more relevant Deloitte stats:

  • 58 percent of all Christmas shoppers in the U.S. rely on social media to help them decide what to buy
  • And 61 percent of Americans would gladly reveal personal information to get special deals

Why Are These Numbers Important?

Advertising on social media sites is cheap as opposed to television and radio, which can reach mass audiences of competing size. So virtually anyone can afford a social media ad campaign. And they can reach gazillions of people at one fell swoop. Most importantly, they can do so when shopping is reaching a fever pitch. And when the availability of the most popular and trendy presents is being exhausted.

So, it’s one week before Christmas, or even, as in the poem, the night before. You see a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram ad for the perfect present you haven’t been able to buy until now. Perhaps it’s a holiday getaway on a warm Caribbean island. Or a brand-new car at an unbelievably reduced price. Maybe a laptop, 75-inch TV or an entire home entertainment system.

What’s sure is that the price can’t be beat. So, you order it online. Or fill in the contact form for more information. That form asks for your name, number and email address, of course. Maybe even your credit or debit card number (just for purposes of identification, the form will say). In any event, like 61 percent of other Americans, you don’t think twice about revealing personal information on some site you’re convinced is legit. Besides, the clock is ticking before St. Nick comes down the chimney.

But What Happens if It’s a Scam Before Christmas?

If it is a scam before Christmas, your best bet scenario is that you’ll become a victim of identity theft. The scammer will use your name and contact information for any one of a variety of nefarious purposes.

The other possibility is that you click on the link in the ad and go to the scam or spoofed website it leads to. You make what you assume is a purchase and provide your CVV2 or verification code on the back of your card to complete the transaction. Needless to say, you will not receive what you ordered. The odds are you won’t get anything. If you do get something it’ll be a cheap imitation of what you expected. By then, the scammer will disappear with your money. And with your credit or debit card number and its verification code. He’ll then be able to withdraw cash from your bank account. Either until he empties your account entirely or you bank notifies you that something unusual is happening.  

Bottom line: Be careful. And Merry Christmas from MyChargeBack. We’ll be here on the holidays if you need us.

Did Thomas Cook Leave Your Money Stranded?

Image by robertescu from Pixabay

When Thomas Cook suddenly went out of business, the chaos that ensued was unprecedented. Travelers, travelers-to-be, and employees were in disarray. Today MyChargeBack presents you with the situation as it currently stands, as well as options for getting your money back, should that be relevant for you.

Thomas Cook was one of the world’s first and oldest travel agencies. It operated in one form or another continuously for nearly two centuries. Everything came crashing down, however, on 23 September 2019. Whether the end was sudden or not depends on how closely you’ve been paying attention. But it was certainly sudden enough to strand hundreds of thousands of travelers overseas with no clear way of getting home.

A Very Impressive Operation

The UK government stepped in to perform possibly the greatest peacetime repatriation in the country’s (and perhaps the world’s) history. From the point of view of logistics and responsibility, it was a very impressive operation.

Other government bodies and private companies are stepping in as well. They aim to ensure the tens of thousands of suddenly unemployed Thomas Cook employees will be able to rejoin the workforce as quickly as possible.

Finally, there are hundreds of thousands of people who purchased and paid for upcoming holiday packages that are now cancelled. They, of course, all need their money back. But how exactly is that going to happen? The UK government website provides the following advice:

Passengers with ATOL protection who are yet to travel are entitled to a full refund on any future bookings. Customers without ATOL protection should speak to their credit card provider or the company they booked their holiday with. You can also speak to your travel insurance provider to see if you are able to claim back any of their costs.

What Is ATOL?

The acronym stands for the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence. It’s a scheme that gives consumers certain protections regarding holiday packages involving air travel. Figuring out whether your specific case qualifies for protection might be easier said than done. Especially considering the deluge of cases that are now pouring in. But assuming you do get through and get the bad news that you’re not covered, what now?

The government’s advice to contact your credit card company is almost charmingly naive and optimistic. Your credit card company (or more precisely, the bank that issued your card to you) is very knowledgeable and efficient at dealing with chargebacks involving unauthorized transactions.  Those are purchases made without your knowledge, such as with a stolen card or stolen data. But they are notoriously inefficient and ignorant (not to mention suspicious) regarding authorised transactions in which the contracted goods or services were not provided.

Don’t Let Scammers Take Advantage of You

This situation has created the perfect opening for a group of professional criminals operating holiday scams. They have begun calling, emailing, and texting customers promising easy refunds. All you have to do is give them your credit card number and security code, and they’ll take care of the rest. If you fall for it, they have all the information they need to steal massive sums of money from you. Plus, of course, you didn’t get the holiday expenses back.
This is where we step in. MyChargeBack is an international fund recovery firm with a truly global clientele. We have helped thousands of British consumers recover millions of pounds over the last three years.

If you’re a Thomas Cook victim who needs help getting your booking fees refunded, contact us today for a free fund recovery consultation.

Chinese Citizens Targeted by Student Visa Scams

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens studying in educational institutions around the world risk losing vast amounts of money — as well as their student visas — to a raft of university student visa scams run by a number of Chinese criminal gangs.

Starting a new life as a university student can be accompanied by a strange mix of feelings: excitement, uncertainty, confidence, and fear. All of these are magnified if you’re a foreigner whose higher education is taking place far from home, and in an unfamiliar language. And if you happen to be a Chinese citizen studying at a Western university, the risks are even greater.

There are close to a million Chinese students studying at institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other English-speaking countries. Nearly all of them require some sort of special student visa to allow them to remain enrolled. Every one of those students is a potential victim of a visa scam.

Your Money … or Else

Imagine you’re quietly minding your business when all of a sudden you get a phone call from a man speaking Mandarin, claiming to be a police officer or immigration official from back home. He claims to be in possession of evidence incriminating you in money laundering or some other serious crime. You have to return to China right away to answer for you alleged crimes. Your visa will be cancelled. You’ll be deported. Your university career is over.

Or maybe not. He informs you that there is a way out for you after all: pay up. Some callers may call it a “fine” or “bail,” but the bottom line is they claim that if you transfer money to them, they can make your problem go away. How much money? Tens of thousands of dollars. Even hundreds of thousands. Enough money to wipe out an entire family’s life savings, and more. 

How University Student Visa Scams Find You

The scams are run by a sophisticated criminal network with access to considerable resources. In most cases they find new victims to extort in one of two general ways.

The first is by targeting specific individuals. An associate may scout you out at the airport or on campus. They may even steal your laptop, if they can, to gain background information about you or to have more leverage or plausibility for the scam. At the very least, they’ll know your name and enough identifying details to scare the life out of you. It seems like this has been the method of choice among the scammers operating in the UK.

The other way these scammers find their victims works in the opposite direction: by casting as wide a web as possible. Scammers have been sending out innumerable robocalls (in Mandarin of course). They know that the vast majority of recipients will hang up because they won’t understand a single word. Thousands of Americans and Australians, for example, report getting these Chinese robocalls. But all the fraudsters need is to reach just one or two Chinese nationals. If they think the call is legitimate, the effort will all be worthwhile for the scammers. The recorded spiel instructs them to call back a specific number, and the real scam begins.

In addition to visa scams, the same crime gangs also perpetrate grandparent scams, tax impersonations scams, and others. If you think you may have been a victim of a scam, contact MyChargeBack today for a free consultation to see if we can get your money back.

Stuck in the “Bonus” Spiderweb

Forex trading bonus scams prevent investors from withdrawing their funds

Many unregulated online scam brokerage sites simply steal all of your deposits. The “trading” is entirely fictitious. The professional-looking trading platform on their websites is, in actuality, completely phony. It’s a sham designed to make the inevitable losses look legitimate — just unlucky. And among their principal tools are forex trading bonus scams.

Here at MyChargeBack we hear it all. We’ve spoken to thousands of victims of online trading scams from over a hundred countries. They have been burned by phony forex and binary options brokers and a host of others scammers. Criminals masquerading as “brokers” have endless ways of separating you from your money, and they’re always thinking of new ones. 

Often, when you request a withdrawal, the fraudster will approve it on the condition that you first pay a processing fee (or whatever else he chooses to call it). Before you do so, ask yourself if that makes any sense. If the fee is less than your balance, why don’t they simply deduct it before crediting you the remainder? The reality is that this “fee” is just the final payment you will make towards your broker’s new car before he stops answering your phone calls and emails.

There Is No Such Thing as Free Money!

The one ploy our clients fall victim to more than any other is the innocent-sounding but malignant “bonus.” But it’s all fake. There are no bonuses. These are forex trading bonus scams. 

Ah, free money! Who wouldn’t want that? We all would, and scammers know that. Beware, therefore, of shady online brokers handing out money like the tooth fairy. You can get a bonus for signing up, forking over additional sums of money or getting your friends to sign up. Why are they so generous? Because they know they’ll never have to actually part with any of that money. And they know that because they’ll never allow you to withdraw it. That’s why these traps are forex trading bonus scams!

“What,” you say, “the bonus isn’t real?” Oh it’s real. A real trap. By accepting the bonus, you agree to a set of restrictions so abstruse, so convoluted that your average lawyer would have difficulty deciphering and applying it.

What Are the Restrictions?

The fine details vary considerably from one broker to another. In any case, the broker probably won’t tell you about them beforehand. If you look for them you’ll be hard pressed to find them. If they’re posted on the broker’s site, they’ll be hidden in the small print on the “Terms & Conditions” page along with a lot of legalese you may not even understand. 

But the bottom line is that before you can withdraw the bonus your have to use it in trading. A lot of it. You might need to trade upwards of $1,000 for every single dollar of bonus money you get. Even without the broker gaming the system, if you trade that amount you are almost statistically guaranteed to lose the rest of your money at some point. But the nastier brokers won’t even take that chance. They’ll make sure your account tanks. That way, if they’re convincing enough, you’ll never even think to go after them. You’ll just think you made a bad investment. Which is exactly what they want you to think.

If, however, you try to withdraw your balance when it’s still in the black you’ll discover just how trapped you are. Your whole account is encumbered and you just watch helplessly as it slides lower and lower, unable to get your money out. You’re in the bonus spiderweb, and the more you struggle, the more tightly it grips you.

If you’re a victim of an online investment scam, contact MyChargeBack today for a free fund recovery consultation. We’re an American company with a global reach. Working opposite over 750 banks, we have helped clients on every continent recover millions of dollars in funds that they thought were lost for good.

When Cases Aren’t “Worth It” to File Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

If you follow the news, you have a pretty good idea how much money there is in medical malpractice lawsuits. Multi-million dollar judgments and settlements make headlines, after all, and it’s no surprise that doctors normally pay tens of thousands of dollars a year in malpractice insurance premiums. And millions more to their medical malpractice lawyers. So you might assume that medical malpractice lawsuits are a plaintiff’s shortcut to fabulous riches, or at least a reliable way for victims of negligence to get their lives back on track.

But you’d be wrong.

The splashy headlines hide a more sober reality. The truth is that, for a variety of reasons, the vast majority of medical malpractice victims have no recourse to the legal system to set things right. The biggest hurdle for victims is, ironically, the huge amount of money that flows from these cases. How does that compute?

Why Aren’t Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Always Worth It?

Let’s say you’re a victim of clear-cut malpractice. You paid $20,000 for cosmetic surgery and the surgeon forgot to remove the sponge before sewing you up, leading to infection, repeated surgery, and permanent scarring. It’s an open-and-shut case. You set up an appointment at your local law office and meet with a highly regarded, experienced, and recommended lawyer. He looks over your records, asks a few questions, and politely declines. “I’m sorry, but I just don’t think we have a case here. Best of luck in the future.”

Before you lose your temper, take the time to understand why the lawyer refused. He’s not a bad guy, but he does need to make a living, while at the same time serving his clients’ interests. And your case won’t make him or you any money. Neither of you will ever see a dime.

What Do Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Require?

Successfully filing (let’s not even talk about winning yet) medical malpractice lawsuits requires huge investments of time and resources. The doctor’s insurance is going to fight it tooth and nail. Unlike other personal injury cases,medical malpractice lawsuits won’t even get off the ground without a huge amount of professionally-prepared expert evidence. Your lawyer is going to have to pay other doctors and professionals thousands (or tens or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for depositions. He needs to prove two things:

  1. That the defendant’s actions were negligent and contrary to the accepted standard of care.
  2. That the injury you suffered was directly caused by the above negligence and not by something or someone else.

After that, he needs to set a dollar amount for damages. The law does not allow for an arbitrary amount. It needs to be based on real world values, including lost income and the impact on you and your family. So if you were unable to work for a year, and your income is $40,000, compare the value of the lawsuit to a similar case for a victim who makes half a million. No comparison, right? And if your income is affected for the rest of your life, the number of years left until retirement, as well as the number of dependents, will also affect the value of the case.

Is Your Attorney Working on Contingency?

Now consider that your lawyer is working on contingency. That means he’s paying for the whole case out of his pocket. He will only make as a percentage of your payout in the event you win. If the payout is — let’s say — $100,000, but the case costs $120,000 to bring to court, that means you get nothing. And your lawyer loses $20,000. In such a situation, you have no case.

Think you’re alone? Numbers are notoriously hard to come by, but it seems like between three quarters and nine tenths of legitimate medical malpractice victims are unable to get a lawyer to represent them just because their case isn’t “worth it.”

Before even speaking to a malpractice attorney, therefore, concentrate first on what is achievable  now. You paid for a procedure that not only didn’t succeed, it caused damage. You deserve your money back. And the quickest path to recovering your funds is through a chargeback.

Challenging medical professionals can be very complex and mistakes can cost you. MyChargeBack will analyze your case and assist you throughout the entire recovery process.  So if you have been victimized by any type of medical malpractice, consult with our fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack to see if there is a chargeback strategy that is appropriate for your case.