Hello colleagues and fellow traders!
We have been running an honest business for a long time, we have created a fairly large community of forex traders.
But sometimes an unpleasant situation happens when a broker’s client gets his account “zeroed out”. In this case the communication with the Support Service does not lead to clarity and it seems that the money’s gone and irrevocably lost.
Despite the fact companies offering financial services are under the supervision of financial regulators, guaranteeing protection of invested funds to clients, drafting a complaint is a costly and not always promising process. From legal law standpoint, a trader will have to deal with the location of the company’s registration.
How should you get your money back from a fraud broker?
In reality, scammers in the Forex and binary options market can be prepared to scam using the peculiarities of their country’s local legislation, the casuistry of their agreements and offer contracts offered to the user. They can do this in order to deprive traders of their listed deposits or profits.
Some of them are even “pure scams”—a company set up to raise a certain amount of money, after which the legal entity is closed with the subsequent disappearance of the founders.
In the 20 years of the Internet market for financial services provided by brokers, complaints about non-return of funds have affected both common brands and unknown companies, firms with “reliable” American licenses and firms with certificates of countries that are not immediately detectable on the map. The number of complaints against companies grew at a faster rate than it has for other financial services such as insurance and annuities which have a lower level of penetration compared to brokerage.
Traders try different ways to fight for the stolen funds, including hiring attorneys and going the court route. The only viable option for the return of the deposit was the chargeback procedure–the cancellation of payment provided by international payment systems.
Chargeback Process from a broker – Expectations vs. Reality
To protect customers and make cashless retail settlements secure, Visa and Mastercard have come up with an anti-fraud and refund protocol from dishonest merchants and service providers.
- The good news for traders is that the burden of proof falls on the broker;
- The bad news – the rules of chargeback are determined by the local bank, payment is subject to statutory limitation, the money is returned only in the amount of the transfer (immediately forget about payment of profits)
Theoretically, a trader who discovers at some point an “unfair zero” on the account, writes an application to the broker’s bank, specifying the dates and amounts of payment transfers. The latter applies to the local branch of the acquiring bank, which deducts these funds from the company’s current account.
In practice, it’s enough for the broker to show a copy of the contract, pointing to the section “Risks” and the litigation will be completed in his favor.
It should be understood that by stealing the trader’s deposit the fraudster risks to lose the opportunity to serve Visa and Mastercard forever. To achieve this, the number of Chargeback transactions must exceed 2%. That is why the theft of funds takes place according to a well-trodden scheme, where the “complainant” will be knowingly in a losing position:
- The scheme of transferring the funds of clients under processing contracts to the broker was through legal intermediaries. In this case it would be possible to return the money only if it did not reach the broker.
- Transfer of funds through legal electronic payment systems;
- Liquidation of a legal entity or withdrawal of assets from the current account.
The credit card chargeback procedure does not provide for third-party liability so the absence of a proven connection between the reseller and the payment e-wallet will automatically make the lost payment claim procedure meaningless. In the case of timely delivery of the client’s money to the broker, there can be no claims to the payment system.
Refunds of funds stolen by a broker are relatively simple, only in the case of:
- Non-payment of income on investment instruments of the broker;
- Refusal to return the deposit that was not involved in the transactions.
The broker’s offer agreement has issues with refunds
Traders can receive access to trading on the Forex market if they have signed the Agreement or signed up for the offer – the standard conditions of the broker. Unattentive study of trading conditions can deprive traders of their funds and the right to return them if:
- The client lost money as a result of forced closing of positions because they reached the stop-out level;
- Missed the deadline for appealing the loss because of a spike, a technical overlap that resulted in the translation of non-existent rates;
- Lost a loss because of nuanced structured products (e.g., they were converted to local currency and the money burned as a result of the crisis);
- Loss of funds due to penalties for improper deposits (e.g., frequent withdrawals and deposits without fees);
Therefore, before proceeding with the Chargeback, carefully study the reasonable response from the Support Service that usually contains clauses of the Agreement or the offer. Take into account the fact that you gave your consent to these terms, because exactly the same arguments will be provided by the broker to the bank-acquirer.
Scheme of refunds from the broker under the Chargeback procedure, transferred from a bank card
Each bank has its own developed algorithm with chargeback and developed over the years a strategy for dealing with different cases. Refunds are mainly handled by the Security Service, which will meet the customer’s complaint to the store, but will “reject” the application, which will say – “lost money on Forex (binary options)”.
The first thing a victim should learn is that he or she has become a victim of improperly provided financial services. Try to study the rules of the chosen payment system and find the appropriate description in the chargeback codes on Mastercard and Visa websites in advance. This is the wording that will be presented to the broker by the acquiring bank when the application is registered by the card issuing bank.
Despite the fact that in theory the broker is obliged to prove that he is right, before contacting the bank that issued the card, prepare a package of evidence. In addition to the list of documents listed in the bank’s instructions (if any), supplement the complaint with screenshots of correspondence with the company with the refusal to withdraw the deposit. Also prepare a copy of the Contract (download from the website), try to find the clauses proving the wrongdoing of the broker, if there are none, just point to the section “Company Obligations” and “Customer Rights”.
When preparing a package of documents, do not forget about the limitation period of 540 days from the date of transfer. Remember: the local bank makes the initial decision to start the procedure. Visa and Mastercard enter into a dispute only as arbitrators, but they will not spoil the relationship with the financial institution.
If the bank accepted the claim, then the second stage begins – the proceedings between the acquiring bank and the broker. This is a long process, as the company will have time to gather evidence and appeal, in case of a positive decision in the applicant’s client’s favor.
In the case of refusal, the trader will be given a formal response and evidence of the arguments, after which he can, in theory, finding new circumstances, to reapply with the complaint.
The Paradoxes of Chargeback
As shown in the graph above, the conclusions reached by card-issuing banks and payment acquirers play a significant role in the refund decision. Such businesses are strictly motivated by their own assessments of the strength of the opposing parties’ claims.
This leads to paradoxes, sometimes interpreted in favor of the broker, but clients who applied for a refund can get 100% of the transfers, even if the money was drained through their fault.
Brokers must prove that the services have been provided under the contract in full, but the acquirer may side with the trader in the case of unconvincing arguments, saying that the trader put a “tick” under the contract is a signature, or in the absence of evidence of the actual transactions.
Another problem in proving brokers right is the “kitchen” format of the business. If the client was not given the opportunity for real, competitive trading, and the funds were simply debited and did not come out to trade (especially binary options), the trader will get all the money transferred back, which falls within the 540-day period.
If you are trying to conduct a refund on “someone else’s advice”, remember that decisions at banks depend on specific people, so the same financial institution may take different decisions on the same cases, or not accept the application, “written under the copy” and passed before all stages of chargeback.
Market chargeback services – refunds from the broker
From the description of the mechanism of getting money back from a fraudulent broker, it is clear that the success of the claims directly depends on the ability to legally defend their case or the availability of connections in the banking structures. Therefore, around the procedure chargeback, applied to brokers, a market of services has emerged where companies and individuals are ready to help traders to get their money back.
Before you rush to the first company you see in the hope of getting back what you lost, if you are offered a refund from a broker, you should understand:
- It is likely that if you want to return your investment to someone else, you really have to accept that there is no guarantee that it can be returned.
- Going to intermediaries will not get rid of the initial evidence of fraud;
- The company will help “promote” the application to the issuing bank and prepare a package of documents, but will never guarantee 100% result, since the main decision on the shargeback takes the bank-quaker;
- If the funds were transferred through an intermediary (the details of the recipient indicated an individual or some payment service, etc., but no clear details of the broker) – the money is no longer refundable;
- If the brokerage company is bankrupt, the prepayment to the intermediary “will be burned.
There are a lot of advertisements on the Internet about help to get money back from brokers, but you have to choose an intermediary according to the same principles as you should have chosen a Forex company:
- The legal entity must be registered in the client’s national jurisdiction (can be checked at the registry);
- No 100% promises, partial payment in advance;
- Specialization – a lawyer must deal with chargeback issues closely and constantly.
Most companies at the top of search results (as well as in Facebook and Google.Adwords ads) have a mixed reputation for repayment. This can be due both to real cases of delayed cases (the fact that they contacted the bank cannot be verified) and to the unpredictability of the outcome of the case.
Beware of “free work” options without prepayment; such companies will ask for a power of attorney from the trader in the process and embezzle the funds received. Also widespread is the option of supposedly successful transfer to a foreign account, which will be opened remotely. Fraudsters will demand payment for the work, pointing to the allegedly received money in the account, which will be reported to the trader by the “bank representative”. The “foreign account” can often be opened in person, or it can be opened on the street. In a few cases, the account has been closed because the business has not been completed. The process also relies on knowing the date of completion, a record date is created, and the trader, usually an IT specialist, must provide an explanation. Some will find this confusing or even impossible, but not all. On other occasions, these tactics are likely illegal and are difficult to predict. I can think of few instances in which the trader would take legal action against a business if the person was the only one to accept payment for the entire time that the business has been closed off (unless there is any other reason the business was closed even if no funds were received). Most of those cases have turned out to be “easy to get” cases, and some involve not doing the necessary paperwork, but other case involve the “fraudster” or even “bank representative”, though sometimes it is less easy
Avoid “obliging calls” from people who are aware of the problem of non-payment of the deposit – in 90% of cases it is a trick of the offices affiliated with the scammers, planning to make a second round of profit on the victim. As a rule, these companies may be registered in the same offshore jurisdiction, a fact which the scammers will present as an additional advantage.
How to Protect Yourself from Forex Fraud Scams
A large number of scams and losses of deposits in the Forex market occurred in 2014. The situation reached such a stage that it made the front pages of the national mass media.
The positive effect of the past hype was the articles in the national press on how to choose a broker and the selection of ratings of reliable companies providing services in the Forex market. The most popular of this article was The Wall Street Journal headline: “Jobs as a Shareholder of Bank of America.” The Journal said it is not only profitable for it to serve the client, but also in the long term. The article is a great illustration of how much this industry can improve the quality of the products and services it serves.
The advice is simple enough – companies whose brand has been present on the international financial services market for decades will not seek to squeeze out a trader’s deposit. This can turn out to be a loss of reputation or serious problems for them, which will be created by the state, which does not want a repeat of the situation in 2014.
Also, you can very easily tell the difference between a dishonest broker and a fraud broker. In case your account starts to increase, you get a profit – pay attention to the quality of trading services. If the quality of execution of orders, namely the speed of execution and slippage remain unchanged, then you can be sure that most likely this broker is aimed at long-term work with you and will pay out profits.
In order to analyze, the quality of trading conditions, our algorithm Elon Musk Ea, has a clever system of control and logging of all completed transactions. This will help you avoid unfair trading conditions from your broker.
When starting to work in the Forex market, most people see only future benefits, but do not assess the risks. Always work according to the formula – “Risk should not lead to strong emotional consequences, the invested amount should not be pitied at the loss.
Read everything you sign or agree to on a collective or public offer. Remember: saving time to study the legal nuances and check the validity of the broker’s business now – you will have to spend a lot of energy and emotions later, studying the documentation and ways to recover lost funds from a fraudulent broker.
Be wary of calls from unknown numbers from left-wing companies – the methods of verbal influences, through which 70% of frauds occur, including forcing to open an account at an unknown office.
This evil is carried out by the telephone and calls from abusers convincing them to “open an account without risk”. Do not think that you can resist the psychological tricks, perfected day by day – just do not answer the call from an unknown number, actively use the “blacklist” function in your phone. You can also check the caller’s number on the Internet – the network is now full of sites where there are comments from people who have been called from certain numbers. If there are only negative comments (financial scammers, golden mountains, and so on), there is no point in answering such a call.