The MyChargeBack Blog

Ready for Your Dream Vacation? Dont Let Scammers Spoil It for You!

It’s summer, and you’ve finished packing for that vacation you’ve been looking forward to for months. Everything is in order, and you’re ready to go. You’ve heard the hotel is really nice, and you can’t wait to see your room.

Sounds great. But even while you’re on vacation, the scammers are not. Don’t let them ruin your vacation.

People on vacation want to relax, and some may let down their guard when they’re away from their everyday life and activities. Here are some scams to guard against on your next vacation.

The first one begins almost as soon as you’ve reached the hotel. Once you’ve checked in and gone to your room, you receive a call from someone who claims he works at the front desk. The caller tells you that there is some problem with your credit card and he wants to confirm the number. Sounds plausible, no? But the caller is not actually from the front desk. He’s a scammer, and if you tell him the number, he’ll soon be buying up a storm at your expense.

If you get a call like this, tell the caller you will come down to the front desk to sort things out. Do that even if you get the call in the middle of the night so you will know whether the call was legitimate. It’s worth missing some sleep to make sure you don’t get scammed.

Next there are scams that take place while you are staying at the hotel. Here’s one of them.

You get a flyer in your hotel room advertising pizza or another kind of takeout food, ostensibly from a company in the area. You decide to order, call the number, and give them your credit card or debit card number. They tell you how long it will take, but you wait and wait and wait, and no food arrives. Eventually you get tired of waiting and call them back. They promise that your food is on the way, but again you wait, and again no food arrives. Eventually you order room service instead. But in the meantime, the scammers who have your card number are buying their Christmas presents on your nickel. The easiest way to avoid this scam is to check with the front desk before you call the number in the flyer, or just ask Google whether the business is for real. If you pay for your food in cash when it’s delivered, you can also avoid this problem.

And just when you think that no more scams can happen because your vacation’s nearly over, there’s the checkout scam. In this scam, the hotel asks for payment by credit card when you check out, but you say you prefer to pay in cash. Or you offer to pay by credit card but the hotel tells you that the transaction didn’t go through and instead wants you to pay in cash. If the person behind the front desk is dishonest, he can take your cash but also charge your card, which enables him to keep the cash for himself without anyone noticing. If you find out later but you didn’t retain your receipt, or if the receipt you received did not show the cash payment, then you are out of luck. To avoid this, when you check out, use the same payment method that the hotel kept on file for you when you checked in.

If you believe you’ve been victimized by a scammer, contact MyChargeBack for a free consultation. We’ll tell you if we can help you recover your money.

 

Dont Be Sucked into a Timeshare Scam

Picture a timeshare in the Caribbean. A pristine beach with white sand, sunny skies as far as the eye can see… and hard-sell tactics and bad decisions about how to spend your money.

Timeshares are a way for you to co-own a property that you use for vacations. The idea sounds great. You can only be on vacation part of the year, so why be the sole owner of a property you can’t even use much of the time?

And it might be great. Or it might not be. Timeshare marketers often use high-pressure methods to persuade you to buy. And then, not infrequently, you’ll find out that what you signed up for is not what you thought.

How the Scammers Get You

The typical method of selling timeshares is to invite you to a presentation to listen to the sales pitch. In some cases, you’ll be offered an added bonus. If you attend, you’re told, you’ll receive a prize, such as dinner in a restaurant, a stay in a hotel, or an inexpensive travel package.

The presentation, though, can be more a nightmare than a dream. You’ll be attacked with relentless pressure to buy, and then you’ll find out that to receive the bonus, you’ll have to actually go ahead and make the timeshare purchase. Don’t fall for those arm-twisting tactics.

So what should you do? How can you protect yourself? One way is to arm yourself with information. Here are some things that typically happen at timeshare presentations:

  • You’ll be told that you must buy now to get the deal the company is offering. But in fact, you may be able to get the same deal tomorrow or the day after that.
  • You’ll be told that if you buy now, you’ll receive a discount. But if they first raise the price by 20 percent and then offer you a 20 percent discount, what are you gaining?
  • You’ll be told that it’s a good investment to buy a timeshare. But it’s a lousy investment. The value of most timeshares decreases by 20-30 percent once you buy them, partly because the company selling them has enormous marketing costs — even up to 50 percent of the price you pay.
  • You’ll be told that you can always sell or rent out your timeshare. But in fact, timeshares are hard to resell and hard to rent. You will likely lose money, perhaps a lot of money.

Here are some more tips to avoid becoming the next victim of a timeshare scam:

  • Don’t let your enthusiasm and vacation fantasies take over your emotions. Remain rational and a bit skeptical and take however long you need to come to the decision that is right for you, not for the guy with the hard-sell tactics.
  • Research the company and find out what others say. Is it a scam, or is it for real? Find out where the company is located and then seek information about it from consumer protection agencies.
  • Look carefully at any contract you are offered, and never sign a contract until you’ve consulted with a lawyer.
  • Don’t give in to pressure. If you are told that in order to receive a certain benefit you must sign up immediately, remind yourself that decisions made under pressure often do not turn out well. If the offer is legit, why is it so urgent?

Can a timeshare be a good purchase? Yes, in some cases, but only if you know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re not getting and have made a rational and informed decision to go ahead with the purchase.

A Scam by Any Other Name Is Still a Scam

You just bought a name-brand washing machine. Spent a bit more for it rather than settling for a cheapo manufactured by a company no one has ever heard of.

It comes with a two-year warranty. So to be sure you don’t screw things up when it’s delivered the sales clerk at the store tells you not to remove the packaging and plug it in on your own. You have to call the distributor to arrange for one of its service representatives to come to your house. Otherwise the warranty won’t take effect. Sounds reasonable. After all, why should the distributor be responsible for fixing something you broke while installing it. Warranties are supposed to cover factory defects and parts that don’t stand up to normal wear and tear, not damage you accidentally cause.

So the service rep arrives, removes the packaging, slips the washing machine into place and plus it in. No doubt you could have done that yourself without damaging anything. He then runs through the operating procedures so you’ll know how to properly use the machine. There are a lot of options and cycles and all that, so you’re glad you waited for him. If you press the wrong button after you’ve loaded the wrong type of clothing who knows what can happen. It’s a sophisticated washing machine, which is why you paid more for it.

The service rep reminds you of that too, and even though you have a two-year warranty, he warns you to be alert for some typical problems that could otherwise be easily avoided. Don’t tilt the machine, especially while it’s running, for example. Sounds logical. The tap water contains minerals that can build up in hoses and internal components. Makes sense. After all, the same thing can happen in an electric teapot, so why not in a washing machine too? And if there’s a power surge while the machine is running, the electricity flow can suddenly exceed the voltage limit of the washing machine and damage it, perhaps beyond repair.

So to make sure nothing like that ever happens, the service rep just happens to have brought along three optional gizmos that you’re welcome to purchase. The first is a frame for the machine to sit on that matches its width and length. The platform is equipped with small wheels and a brake. If you ever need to move the machine, all you do is release the brake and wheel it where it has to go. Once it reaches its destination, apply the brake and it won’t move. No more worries about tilting the washing machine.

The second item is a water filter that will capture the minerals. Check it once every six months or so, but it should last as long as you own the machine. You’ve avoided another problem.

The final add-on is a surge protector. You attach the electric cord from the washing machine and then plug it into the electric socket. No need to worry about power surges now.

So how much do you have to pay for these three indispensable products? Well, the regular price is $300, or $100 per device. But if you sign up for an eight-year addition to your existing two-year warranty, you’ll pay just $50 for each one. The warranty covers both parts and service, so if anything ever goes wrong over the next decade you won’t have to pay a thing. But how much does an eight-year extension of the warranty cost? That breaks down to $60 a year, or $480 total.

Now since you’ve just addressed the three most common causes of washing machine breakdowns by purchasing the frame, the water filter and the surge protector, what are the chances that you’ll have $480 worth of repairs to make over between year 2, when the original warranty expires, and year 10, when the additional warranty expires? And if worse comes to worst and your washing machine completely breaks down between years 2 and 10, consider for a moment that more than half of all new washing machines sold in the U.S. cost $500 or less.

The distributor may very well be above board and his intentions may very well be good, but it doesn’t matter. A scam is a scam is a scam. If you’ve been hit by an insurance or warranty scam, contact MyChargeBack for a free consultation to determine if you can get your money back.

The Return of One-Man Scams

Surf the internet and you’ll find that the most reported scams tend to be the costliest, the ones that often bankrupt their victims.

Having stolen billions of dollars from their victims, online investment scams are clearly the most prolific of them all. Binary options scamsforex and CFD scamscryptocurrency scams are the most widespread among them. They have to be because they’re a veritable industry, employing thousands, even tens of thousands of people in phony brokerages. They’re also a large chunk of those we deal with at MyChargeBack.

Ranking just behind these fake brokerages in terms of publicity are smaller tried and true scams that are here today and gone tomorrow: tax scams, charity scams, lottery scams, credit card scams, phishing. As soon as they’re discovered their operators move on to somewhere else or to something else.

Lost in the maze is the return of the old-fashioned, one-man scams, which are alive and well today due to the internet and the social media.

Want to buy a used car? Diamond ring? Rolex watch? For years now you could find posts hawking just about anything on Craigslist and other such sites. Almost from the beginning, local groups for sellers of second-hand items have proliferated on Facebook, which may have been the genesis of one of the company’s latest ideas. Recently, Facebook rolled out its “Marketplace,” where individuals who reside in the same general area can post items for sale alongside ads placed by retail firms. It’s a natural for Facebook, which enhances the experience by enabling instant communication between buyer and seller via Messenger.

There’s just one problem. How do you know a name brand item for sale in the Facebook Marketplace is genuine? That ought to be more than a theoretical question for Facebook and its subscribers, given the spate of “fake news” items that were posted wholesale during the 2016 presidential election campaign by partisans of all stripes, as well as Russian operatives. Facebook has since promised to implement procedures designed to plug the loopholes that enabled such misleading information to be posted. But how can it verify that a used car that’s offered for sale isn’t stolen, or a diamond isn’t cubic zirconia or a Rolex isn’t an identical but cheap imitation?

Obviously, it can’t. Craigslist can’t. Of course, way back when daily newspapers ran classified ads, they couldn’t either. And scammers know that.

So here are a few tips for anyone who responds to these online ads.

First, take a good look at the picture of the product. If the seller is an individual rather than a retailer, and he posts a stock photo taken from a company website or a promotional brochure, that’s reason to be suspicious. Anyone who posts on Facebook is surely able to take an original photo with his smartphone, which is also a lot easier than going out of his way to reproduce someone else’s picture.

Second, if someone is advertising a diamond ring, Rolex watch or any other item of value, ask him to post the original receipt. If that’s unavailable (maybe it was lost, maybe it was bought second-hand without one) ask if the item is insured. It certainly ought to be. Assuming it is, ask to be sent a copy of the insurance policy or, at least, a jeweler’s estimate. If the owner doesn’t want to go out of his way to get one to prove authenticity, forget it.

Finally, if everything does measure up and you meet the seller to pay and take possession of your purchase, double check that the item you’re buying is the one mentioned in the receipt, insurance policy or jeweler’s estimate. If it’s a car or a watch, make sure the serial number matches. If it’s a diamond or other gem, it’s more complicated. Best to meet the seller at a jewelry shop.

If you have been talked into buying a product that wasn’t the one you thought it was, however, contact us at MyChargeBack for a free consultation to determine is there is an appropriate strategy to recover your money.

What an Online Scam Did to a Single Mother and Her Kids

Before you even think of sending in your contact information to an online investment site, you owe it to yourself to read this real life story. If you are unfamiliar with the plague of binary options scams or have ever doubted the ruthlessness of online scammers in general, you too owe it to yourself to read this story.

MyChargeBack is working on the case of a European woman who had invested her entire life savings in an online binary options site. Attracted by its promise to make her rich overnight, she signed up and promptly transferred over $20,000 to the brokerage using her credit cards and significantly more by sending wire transfers. What she didn’t know at the time was that the trading platform featured on the site was a fraud. It wasn’t plugged in to any market. The trades she was making were make believe. It was all just a video game. So when it came time for her to withdraw her imaginary winnings, her account was simultaneously emptied by the very people to whom she entrusted her money and she was left with nothing.

Chargebacks and Wire Recalls

For those who may be unfamiliar with the processes, charge card payments may be retroactively cancelled by filing for what is known as a chargeback. A chargeback is a right provided to cardholders under well-defined circumstances by the charge card companies themselves. A request for one is filed with the bank that issued the credit card.

Wire transfers, of course, are not subject to any of the rules and regulations of the charge card companies. They have to be contested using a different procedure known as a wire recall, which is lengthier than the two-to-four months required for a chargeback.

The Bank and the Payment Processor

Being a single mother of three children on a tight budget, the client was anxious to see her money returned as soon as possible and, therefore, was looking for a quick resolution of the first of her four chargeback requests. Complicating the matter, however, is that in her country, the banks do not raise disputes with merchants, which is the necessary next stage in the chargeback process following receipt of the request. Instead, in this particular country, the request is forwarded by the bank to a large multinational payment processor, which decides for itself whether or not the request is justified enough to raise a dispute.

Unfortunately, the payment processor declined to open a dispute, even though the woman’s case was airtight and fully consistent with credit card rules and regulations. The bank — which has a well-earned reputation for not being receptive to its clients — refused to intercede on her behalf. As a result, we decided to escalate the matter by appealing the case to the country’s financial ombudsman. That takes added time, of course.

When our recovery team called the woman to inform her of our strategy, she told us that she would be temporarily unavailable because she had to sell her home to cover her mounting debts and was now in the process of moving out. She would no longer have a phone number of her own until further notice.

This, again, was one chargeback out of four. The other three are for transactions made with credit cards issued by two other banks. But those chargeback requests will also be forwarded to the same unreceptive payment processor. It is not clear yet if the other two banks will be more cooperative than the first and actively support their customer.

In the meanwhile, the woman and her three children remain homeless. MyChargeBack, which guarantees its clients 100% effort, will continue to provide her with service until her cases are resolved one way or the other.

If Youre Buying, Selling or Renting, Beware Real Estate Scams

There are many different types of real estate scams, and unless you know what to look out for it’s easy to become a victim. Many other types of scams depend on the victim’s inexperience or willingness to buckle under the hard sell, but real estate scams are often different. That’s why the best defense is to be aware of what can happen and to take preventive action.

Hacked Email Accounts

You’ve looked and looked and you’ve found your dream home. It’s almost yours. The one thing left is to make your down payment. Your real estate agent sends you an email telling you where to wire the money. Everything’s looking good. There’s just one problem.

You’re about to fall victim to the mortgage closing scam. How does it work? It’s fairly simple, but it’s effective. A hacker accesses your real estate agent’s email account, or the account of someone else involved in the transaction—your lawyer or mortgage banker, for example. The hacker then emails you instructions where to send your payment—but that bank account belongs to him, not your seller.

It’s easy to fall for the scam since you readily identify the email address. In many cases, you’ve already agreed to pay by wire. What can you do to avoid becoming the next victim? One solution is to pay only face-to-face. That way, you know exactly to whom you’re giving your money. That way, should you receive an email informing you of a change in the payment arrangements, you will know you have to confirm it by phone.  But don’t call the number in the suspicious email, which probably belongs to the scammer!

Squatters Move in to Your Dream Home

Here’s another variation on the theme. You’ve completed your payment and are now ready to take possession of your home. You walk up to the house and, to your amazement, someone is already living there.

This scam operates in one of several ways. It may be that someone who saw that the home you purchased has been vacant and advertises it for rent. The scammer pretends to be the landlord, changes the locks and keys and “rents” out your property. In this case, the renter also has been scammed, and if he doesn’t agree to get up and go, you will now need to initiate legal proceedings to evict him.

The same thing can happen without a fictitious landlord. Anyone who sees the house has been vacant can break into it on his own and hunker down until a law enforcement officer drags him away.

How can you prevent this from happening? The answer is not simple. If the house has not been occupied for some time, it pays to consult with a local realtor or review rental listings and ads to see if it’s being advertised. Be sure to personally inspect the property with the seller immediately before signing the contract to confirm that there are no squatters, and from that point until you move in ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for any change.

If you’re looking to rent, check to make sure that the landlord owns the property or the realtor is licensed. If the monthly rent is significantly below the market rate, that’s a red flag.

Check Your Moving Company Carefully

If you’re ready to move in and haven’t fallen victim to one of the above scams, you still aren’t through the hoop. You select a mover and agree on a price. The mover shows up on time and then claims you didn’t mention he’d have to take the refrigerator and other major appliances, and that will cost extra. Or you didn’t mention that the new residence is up a flight of stairs, and that will cost extra.

Even worse, the mover only demands more money after everything is already loaded in his truck. At that point, your property is, in essence, being held hostage. If you don’t cough up the money being extorted from you, say goodbye to all your possessions.

This scam is more common than you might think. To avoid becoming a victim,  ask the mover for recommendations, look for reviews online, demand a written estimate, and ask to see a copy of the company’s insurance certificate.

If you are the victim of a real estate scam, contact MyChargeBack for a free consultation.

Scammers Who Benefit from Tragedy

How can they even think of doing it? Easy. They’re criminals. They have no conscience. They do this for a living. As a fund recovery firm with clients throughout the world, we at MyChargeBack have heard about more types of scams than we can probably count. But these are particularly sinister because they play not on your interest in making a quick buck but upon your sympathy for the downtrodden.

Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, mass shootings. Whatever the tragedy may be, the natural human reaction is to sympathize with the victims and reach out to help them.  Which is why immediately after events like these take place, various humanitarian organizations will rush to the scene to be of assistance. For the rest of us glued to our televisions, the maximum we can do is donate much needed money to pay for the good work that they do and enable the victims to begin to rebuild their shattered lives.

So we’ll go online and see if there is a dedicated Red Cross site dealing with the issue. Or a church site. Or a local site. We click, see the urgent appeals for funds, see the horrific photos taken at the scene, and then fill in our credit card details to make a donation.

You May Never Know You Were Scammed

We’re not alone, of course, thousands or even tens of thousands have done the same over the same site. What we don’t know — and may never even find out — is that there’s a good chance we’ve been scammed. In 2005, for example, following Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross asked the FBI to investigate 15 such phony lookalike websites. One fake Salvation Army website alone collected almost $50,000 in donations.

Real Charities vs. Fake Charities: Can You Tell the Difference?

Hurricane Karina, thankfully, of course, was a one-time event. Charity scammers are also in it for the long-haul. The American Cancer Society is a long-established, worthy cause. The Cancer Fund of America is not. The American Diabetes Association is a long-established, worthy cause, but the Defeat Diabetes Foundation is not. The American Heart Association is a long-established, worthy cause, but Heart Support for America is not. Save the Children is a long-established, worthy cause, but Find the Children is not.

Throwing Money Down the Well

In most cases, it’s not easy to tell the difference between real charities and problematic ones. Scammers invest a lot of time and energy into disguising their scams precisely in order to trip you up. Take, for example, the harmless-sounding Wishing Well Foundation USA.

Headquartered in Louisiana and founded by a husband and wife in 1995 or 1996 (depending on the source), the Wishing Well Foundation USA claims to make the last wishes of terminally ill children come true. How can you not sympathize with its goals? It turns out that Wishing Well raised $3.5 million between 1996 and 1997 but only spent $45,214 (or 1% of those contributions), on those children. The rest went to overhead, especially for telemarketer salaries.

What Can You Do

If you’ve donated money to a charity scam, contact MyChargeBack for a free consultation to determine if there’s a way to retrieve your money.  We’re an international fund recovery firm that has assisted clients in over a hundred countries get back millions of dollars lost to scams of all types. And if you’re not sure if a certain charity is a scam or not, ask us. We’ll run it down for you so that you don’t make a mistake.

“I Got a Call from the IRS Saying I Owe Back Taxes”

Maybe you did owe back taxes, maybe you didn’t. We have no way of knowing whether or not you did. But we do know for certain that you never got a call from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) telling you that you did for one very simple reason: The IRS never phones anyone to tell them they owe back taxes. So if you fell for that and paid, you were scammed, pure and simple.

Nor do they send emails, which is another way scammers target victims. Emails with the IRS  logo. Totally phony.

At MyChargeBack, we hear stories like this all the time. When we tell victims of tax scams that the IRS doesn’t call or email delinquent taxpayers, there are those who just don’t believe it. They don’t believe it because they were directed to the IRS website to pay their supposed debt, and the caller told them that if they didn’t do it by the end of the day they’d be audited, arrested, indicted and thrown into a federal prison. The web site looked like the Real McCoy, so they of course believed the threat and paid online using their charge cards. But the site was fake.

Not all IRS scams threaten you with prison to shake you down for money. Some scammers know it’s easier to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So, mixing metaphors, they go phishing. They call or email potential victims at random and they inform them that the IRS owes them refunds. They’re asked you to go online to a different imitation IRS site and fill in their credit card details so their accounts can be credited. They won’t be. Instead the scammers take the credit card information and then use it to make as many cash advances as they can. The victims won’t know about it until they get their next monthly statements.

If you’re amazed at how ingenious scams like these are, they’re nothing compared to what tax scammers can do with advanced technology.  Scammers are able to hack into accountants’ computers and storage systems and downloaded copies of client records. When the file shows that a federal or state income tax return has not yet been filed, they’ll complete the paperwork and file it for you. After you get a big refund (they make sure it’ll be big, even if it shouldn’t be) they’ll call you, pretending to be from the IRS, and explain that the money was sent in error due to a calculation error and demand that you return it. While you think you’re paying it tot he IRS, however, you’re actually paying it to the scammers themselves.

Tax scams like these are not just an American phenomenon. They’re global. Other hard-hit countries include Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. They’re also local. Depending on where you live, state, provincial, county, and local government tax agencies are also ripe, low-hanging fruit.

What makes tax scams so dangerous is that they can strike anyone anywhere and at any time. In this respect, they’re totally different from binary options, forex and CFD investment scams, which you have to opt into in order to be victimized. So if you feel you’ve been hit by any sort of tax scam, contact us at MyChargeBack for a free consultation to determine if you were and, if you were victimized, whether or not you can recover your money.

A Scammers Best Friend

Once upon a time, back when an American conman named George C. Parker was, on average, selling the Brooklyn Bridge twice weekly over the course of 30 years, scamming required unusual skills.

Parker first had to target his victims on the street. Assuming that native New Yorkers would be hesitant to fall for his scam, he first had to identify more likely targets.

One of his most popular haunts for spotting them was Ellis Island, where hundreds of immigrants were arriving daily. While the Statue of Liberty famously cried, as the poem states, “Give me your tired and poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” there were also immigrants who got off the boat with plenty of cash to invest as soon as they were ferried over to Manhattan. Parker frequently bribed ship personnel into handing over the names of first-class passengers in order to call them out when they walked down the steps onto terra firma.

Out-time out-of-town tourists on their first visit to New York comprised another favorite target. Parker knew which hotels they frequented, knew how to circulate and knew how to make his pitch.

For those who fell victim to his scam, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge actually sounded like a good investment. The new “owners” could set up toll gates and make their money back in a jiffy. In fact, more than a few scam victims attempted to do just that.

For Parker, scamming was, of course, very profitable, but it was also grueling and time consuming. He has to shuttle between the port and the hotels and then back again. Often he had to accompany his victims to the Brooklyn Bridge or other “properties” in his portfolio that he would be selling, like Madison Square Garden and Grant’s Tomb, to show them the real estate.

Scamming was tough work. Not so any longer, and the innovation that changed all of that was the internet, which has become the scammer’s best friend.

Today, scammers sit back in their arm chairs in their air-conditioned offices and sip espressos all day long while their scams are being peddled automatically online on professionally designed websites that process their illicit sales using software they bought from someone else. They advertise on social media sites (carefully disguising any hint of illegality, of course) and reach millions of potential victims in an instant.  And to cover up their tracks they’ll register their companies on distant island micro-countries that you probably have never heard of while their employees are actually working out of call centers located somewhere else.

Ultimately, George C. Parker was arrested, tried and sent to live out the rest of his life in Sing Sing. Catching him was simple. There was no internet. Try catching online scammers today. Where will you look? Who will you call to find them?

Actually, there is someone to call. Headquartered in New York, MyChargeBack is an international fund recovery firm that has enabled clients from over 150 countries get back millions of dollars they lost to online scammers. The company offers a number of different chargeback strategies that cover all scenarios.  And if you’re not sure if you were scammed or not, initial consultations are provided free of charge.

If you want to catch the scammer and make him pay, contact MyChargeBack. They know how to do it.

What Can You Do if the Bank Closed Your Dispute?

At MyChargeBack we receive inquiries on a daily basis from scam victims who have opened on their own a service-related chargeback request at their bank, which then closed the dispute. They ask us to re-open or re-file their request, but sadly, at that point we can’t. Once your bank opens a dispute with a merchant, the merchant then has a fixed number of days to respond. If the bank then accepts the merchant’s version of events rather than yours, your case is closed and it cannot be resurrected.

That’s why consumers are always best advised to consult with a fund recovery firm like MyChargeBack before initiating any chargeback request of their own, especially when the merchant is an online scammer. We know the system. And we know the rules and regulations established by the charge card companies better than banks do, many of which have never even heard of a service-related chargeback. And when we explain it to them we speak the language that bankers do, which makes it easier for them to understand. That’s the critical value-added service we provide.

100% Effort

If, for any reason, we think your case is unwinnable we’ll tell you that right at the start and decline to accept it. We’re not in the business of wasting our time or giving you false hope. While we do win most cases we do agree to take,  we can’t win every one of them. There are simply too many variables. Each transaction history is different, each bank is different, each merchant is different. So no, we can’t guarantee 100% success. What we do guarantee is 100% effort, and we provide that no matter how long a particular case may take.

That 100% effort also includes an appeal to the national banking ombudsman in the event the bank refuses to open a dispute on behalf of the client or if it violates charge card rules and regulations.

So Are There Any Other Options Left?

There are other types of services that a scam victim can contract to pursue the case further if a chargeback is rejected. One of them is a wire recall. Designed primarily for those who paid a merchant with a bank transfer and, therefore, cannot avail themselves of the protections provided by credit card companies, wire recalls can be an alternative for consumers whose chargeback requests were declined They are also appropriate for charge card transactions that were made more than 120 days beforehand, the traditional cut-off set by credit card companies for submitting chargeback requests.

In comparison to chargebacks, however, wire recalls generally take longer to reach closure and are somewhat more expensive. As opposed to a chargeback, which focuses on the consumer’s bank— known as the issuing bank— a wire recall focuses on the scammer’s bank — known as the receiving bank. Additional time and effort is always required to convince the receiving bank that its client is a scammer who has violated the law.

Of course, if neither a chargeback nor a wire recall is successful, there remains the possibility of filing a law suit.  For that reason, MyChargeBack works alongside a number of experienced trial attorneys who specialize in fund recovery, as well as other professionals like private investigators, whose work is critical to building a credible court case. This route, however, can take up to two years to conclude and costs much more than the alternatives. In most cases, however, the scammer agrees to settle out of court rather than risk losing and generating an avalanche of negative publicity.

In any event, MyChargeBack has a strategy available for every type of transaction and every type of consumer.