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 unlicensed and unregulated binary options trading sites or have ever doubted the ruthlessness of online crime 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.