Can You Really Recover Money Sent Overseas to Scammers?
There are a lot of companies offering services recovering monies from overseas scammers at the moment, typically claiming to be from Israel or the US, but which target European and Australian scam victims. Obviously these services are not free, but is there any truth in the idea that you can recover money from a scammer in Belarus or the Caribbean? How would they perform this act, and if they can, why can't they stop them doing business or have them arrested by Interpol or the FBI?
Let us address the most obvious points first.
Card Transaction Fraud
- If you have sent money overseas using a debit card or credit card then you have a good chance of recovering your money by contacting the appropriate bank. There are ChargeBack services in place with most decent banks and, although this is not enshrined in law, it is a bonafide agreement that most card issuers will stand by. Credit cards are usually more capable of recovering funds as they are liable for the debt until the next statement, and will usually check on suspicious transactions. You are also protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you are a UK resident and the transaction is between £100 and £30k. If you are ever unsure, don't make the transaction, but if you're in a pinch, use your credit card first.
- It is possible that specialist companies can reverse card payments made overseas but if they can then your bank can do it for free. Do not start paying a company for something your bank should be able to reverse. There are so many charge recovery companies now that the process really can't be that difficult to achieve and one call to your bank will almost certainly save you 20% of any money lost.
Bank Transfer Fraud
- Bank transfers are more difficult to recover if they have been made overseas, but not impossible. If your bank has a relationship with the receiving bank then they can report the transaction as fraudulent and see if action can be taken to recover the funds. They may also be insured against such problems and be able to help you recover some of the funds, particularly if you do not often make overseas transactions.
- Our advice for cryptocurrency is just to avoid it. Getting into Cryptocurrency is easy, but getting out is very hard, and the only way is to pass the currency to someone else for money. If you are looking to invest find a company with a business that is pertinent to the near future and invest in their shares.
Money Transfer Services
- If your transfer was made using service such as MoneyGram or Western Union then you are going to struggle to get any sort of recovery. These services do try to prevent fraud but can do little to repair it. Keeping abreast of scams is the best way to avoid being taken for a ride.
So the truth is that there isn't much a private company can do, is there?
How could a company in Israel or the USA recover money from a company in St Vincent and the Grenadines? What would they do? Threaten to send the FBI? How would they contact them? The address is probably a forwarding service that has to protect the identities of its customers according to local law. How could they override that? If you send £5000 to Israel in good faith for a recovery what happens if they don't recover anything? Would you have a right to get your money back?
The simple answer is No
If you have been scammed then start with advice from your bank or card or service provider as they are the most responsible following yourself. Then you can search websites provided by people like which.co.uk who are admirably concerned with the consumer as their business model.
Under no circumstances pay anyone overseas any money for a service promising recovery if your bank has failed to recover as they can only be in cahoots with the scammers or completely incapable of recovering any money.
If your bank is unwilling to recover the money or you believe that there is more they can do then get a solicitor/lawyer in your own country to open a no win no fee arrangement against the bank and the bank will definitely exhaust every possible alternative.