Can asset recovery companies really help you?
With the rise of online scams, several companies are now offerings services to get your money back from illegal forex traders, binary options frauds, CFD scammers and cryptocurrency thieves. Under names as “Asset Recover”, “Wealth Restoration”, “Refund Services” and “Chargeback Assistance” a multitude of companies offer to support you to get your money back.
Are chargeback companies legit?
We can distinguish two kinds of companies:
- The freelancers: These are seemingly individuals who claim to be able to help you get your money back. They rarely have a website and often contact you via email or social media. They also post on scam fighting websites such as Scamadviser or review sites as Trustpilot.
- The companies: These parties seem to have a legit organization. They have a phone number and website often with testimonials. They also market their services via Google, Facebook, affiliate marketing and retargeting campaigns.
Unfortunately, many of these so-called wealth restoration companies have dubious backgrounds, especially the “freelancers”. Interestingly enough, most of these “experts” are coming from Israel where the binary options industry flourished before it was outlawed by the Knesset in October 2017. A lot of former binary options traders turned to help people who lost money in their trade.
They try to scam people who already got scammed once. On the dark web lists of names and email addresses can be bought of people who got scammed before (so-called dummy lists). The scammers approach these victims with services to “get their money back”. Once they have offered you a “free consultancy” you must pay a fee in advance for their services or make a deposit as a guarantee that they will get a commission once they have recovered your money.
We have received numerous complaints from scam victims who lost money a second time in this way as the company never replies after having received the advance payment or simply states it has been unable to recover the funds.
How do legit asset recovery companies work?
The companies who are offering real recovery services hardly ever approach the scamming forex, cryptocurrency or binary scammer directly as they know it is of no use. The scammer has already disappeared, taking your money with him.
Instead, they focus on your bank, credit card company or Paypal. They hold these companies accountable for the money which was lost. The legal case they use is that “they should have known” you were transferring money to a fraudulent company and should have blocked the transaction or at least have warned you.
You will notice we did not name other payment methods like Moneygram, wire transfer and cryptocurrency. The bad news is, that if you paid using these payment methods, it is extremely unlikely you are able to get your money back. Asset recover companies claiming to be able to do this should be carefully checked.
In short, these processes to get your money back are long (often 6 to 18 months) and involve a lot of legal quarrels with little chance for success.
How to check if a wealth restoration company is safe?
Clearly the freelancers are the least likely to be trusted. It is nearly impossible to determine who is behind the email address. The (in most cases American) phone number is often offered through a service that requires no identification. Freelancers are often recommended in reviews as you can see in the screenshot below. If you, however, google the phone number or email you see that the same text is used on many platforms, often by different people. The reviews are likely to be fake.
In general: if you are approached out of the blue by a freelancer or company claiming to be able to help you, do not do business with them. Firstly, in most countries, real lawyers are not allowed to solicit clients. Secondly, you should ask yourself how that organization has found you, and whether it was in collaboration with the company or person who scammed you in the first place.
The chargeback support companies are easier to check. Hereby a few tips:
- Call the company: If they do not offer a phone number this is already a bad signal. If they do answer the phone, ask how long have they been in business (tip: check the age of their website on Scamadviser.com). What is their process to get your money back? What are their fees?
- Ask for Company registration & ID: Ask for a company registration document and the ID or passport of at least one of the owners mentioned in this document. In this way, you at least know with whom you are dealing.
- Check the references: Many scammers show false testimonials online. Also ask for references, preferably from your own country (upon the chances that they are fake is reduced).
- Test their success ratio: Getting your money back is a long and difficult process. If they promise quick success and high probabilities of 80 or even 95%, you can be sure they are a scam, or it is so easy, you can just as well get your money back yourself.
- Validate their license to practice law: To be successful a lot of legal quarrels is essential. In some countries, this is considered a legal service and requires a license to practice law. In others, this is not the case. However, the wealth recovery company needs to either employ lawyers themselves or have a close relationship with a law firm. Ask for a copy of their license to practice law (or of their partner).
Advice: do it yourself or 100% performance-based
The sad reality is that it is very difficult to get your money back. If you paid with a credit card, Paypal, Alipay (or a comparable service). The best way is to contact this company first. Please read our article “How to get your money back”.
Usually, asset recovery companies only take on cases with a value of more than $ 5000. It is simply not worth their while to chase scams where less money was lost. They charge a set-up fee of $ 500 to 750 or 10% of the value. In addition, they often charge a 10% success fee.
We, however, do not recommend agreeing to an advance fee. In some countries like Canada and the USA, it is even forbidden by law for companies in the money recovery business to ask any kind of advances. To make sure you get not scammed twice, we recommend to only work with companies who do not charge a set-up fee or deposit.
As far as we know only Payback Ltd. offers a 100% recovery service to help you get your money back starting at $ 25000 of money lost for a fixed success fee of 10%.*
* Payback is a partner of Scamadviser. Payback provides Scamadviser with lists of malicious websites known to them which we add to our database. Scamadviser refers to Payback if consumers have lost money from High Yield Investment Programs, forex and binary options scams. Scamadviser does not receive any commissions from Payback or visa versa.
Thank you for report a misuse case.