Feeling Like You’ve Been Scammed? Learn How to Get Your Money Back

As traders, aside from the dangers we are exposed to by the market itself, we are constantly faced with the risk of being scammed. Crooked brokers, software sellers, signal providers who ask you to sign up with their “recommended” broker because their “signals only work on that broker’s platform”… they all try to slip their hands in our pockets. But… there’s always a “but”… sometimes our fear of being scammed makes us see dangers where there aren’t any and if we keep crying “Wolf!”, we risk being ignored when the actual wolf comes.

 

The following article is a guide to help traders recover their money from any binary options service. It will help you re-organize your thoughts before posting the first thing that comes into your head and help you coming up with a better plan to recover your money.

 

 

How NOT to Get your Money Back: The Wolf of Binary Street

The story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf is credited to Aesop, a story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece. This fable talks of a shepherd boy who constantly gave false alarms by crying Wolf so that other shepherds nearby would come to the rescue… I guess he was just bored because they didn’t have Facebook back then. Anyway, no matter his reasons, when an actual wolf came, nobody answered the boy’s calls for help because everybody believed he is messing around again… and the wolf had an awesome meal. Fast forward a few thousand years and we can notice the similarities: some people see scams everywhere and then they go all over the internet, on all forums they can find and cry Scam! First of all, not everything that doesn’t go your way is a scam: if price spikes up or down, against your trade, it doesn’t necessarily mean that somebody is manipulating it; if brokers don’t send your money because you didn’t provide them with the required personal identification documents… again, no scam. So, before complaining you should think of the situation: what happened, what went wrong, what can you do to solve the problem, can the broker help, are you actually convinced that foul play is involved? We encourage complaints because when a trader has a genuine problem with a broker or software vendor and he shares it publicly, it prevents others from falling into the same trap, but if the whole thing is just a misunderstanding, it’s not fair for the broker to be put in a bad light. The idea is to make your complaint as authentic as possible, to get the facts right and start complaining on forums only if you’ve reached a dead end. A genuine complaint has a high impact and gives you more chances of solving the problem.

 

When it comes to complaints, I can see two main types: the first is similar to what I said above – genuine and well written – and the second one is the complaint made with a lot of emotion, anger and without carefully assessing the situation. Usually these complaints don’t offer a lot of information about the problem and most of the times are treated just like the boy’s cry of Wolf: with indifference. Calm down, slow down and explain what happened. Why do you think you’ve been scammed and what did you do to try to fix it? I agree that language can be a barrier sometimes, but I am sure you can find ways around it (get a friend to translate it, use Google, use other translation software, use simple words, etc.). Do you actually believe that complaints like “dis brooker steeled my moneis and it is very bad brooker. I will go to sue you I am very good trader” will be taken seriously? Yeah, I saw complaints similar to that one and what do you know: nobody believed the guy. I mean, what’s there to believe? The complaint doesn’t contain any real information. Like I said, we encourage complaints and we want scams to be exposed, but we can’t do our job right if people keep complaining too fast and too emotionally. Also, we don’t want brokers or anyone for that matter to be wrongfully accused. And just because some problems occur, it doesn’t mean you’ve been scammed. Heck, the lady at my corner shop gave me the wrong change yesterday and I simply told her she made a mistake. She apologized and gave me the rest of my money. There: problem solved! If I would have started to shout in the middle of the street “Dis lady steleled ze money from me I am being robbed in plain daylight help me help me”, would that have been of any help? I don’t think so.

 

 

 

How to Get Your Money Back: A Good Complaint Goes a Long Way

We don’t like scammers… and that’s an understatement, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s a scammer. When traders lose money, they become frustrated and the last person they blame is themselves so they want to find a scapegoat; this results in angry and emotional complaints that don’t tell us anything about the real problem. How can we help if this happens? You have to do it right and think about the situation before crying “Wolf!” if you want to get your money back!

 

You need to have a plan for the worst case scenario. Next I am going to put this plan together for you in simple step by step instructions.

 

  • 1. You need to collect evidence. If you want to make a strong case against a brokerage, you have to collect emails, screenshots, documents, live chat transcripts. Basically get as much evidence as possible, everything you need to strengthen your case. People won’t just take your word for it so make sure you can prove what you are saying.
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  • 2. Try to settle the dispute with your brokerage. Once you have evidence and feel you have a strong case, contact the brokerage and try to solve the problem with them. It would be the easiest way and the fastest also.
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  • 3. Time to go public and to the right authorities. If the above didn’t work and your problem is still not solved, it’s time to take all the evidence you’ve gathered during step 1 and share it with the world. Explain your case, keep cool, don’t trash, do not go personal on this, be as objective as possible and always let your broker know what you’re doing. If you’ve sent a complaint somewhere through email, put your broker’s address in the CC field. If you posted the evidence somewhere, send link to the broker. This step is linked to the previous – it’s still you trying to reach a settlement. After all, it’s between you and the brokers, and it’s better to reach a settlement before waiting for the authorities to act (some of them are incredibly slow to lift a finger). One more thing: do not release all the evidence at once – if you do that the broker will think: “The damage is already done so why give him the money back”. Another part of this step is where to post evidence and complain:
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  • 4.1. Complain on thatsucks.com. We have a great article that explains step by step how to complain on our website. You have a lot of ways to do it and I would use them all: Improving Your Skills at… Complaining About Your Broker.
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  • 4.2. Complain on other major websites dedicated to exposing scams (forexpeacearmy.com, ripoffreport.com). When you do that, make sure you follow their rules and again, keep calm, be objective and as clear as possible.
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  • 4.3. Go to the regulatory authorities and take legal action. This is more than just talking or posting evidence on websites. It is a tedious process and that’s why we’ve prepared 2 extensive articles on the matter: Binary Options Regulation – Everything You Need To Know and Binary Options CySEC Regulation.
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  • As a special note – and this is very important: CySEC regulates most of the brokers out there, but “…does not have restitution powers and therefore does not investigate individual complaints” (source: CySEC’s official webpage). They continue by saying: “However all complaints submitted to the CySEC are taken into consideration by the CySEC in the performance of its supervisory mandate.” Check out CySEC’s full complaint procedure here. In order to seek mediation and possible compensation, investors will have to go to the Financial Ombudsman. The CySEC will investigate the matter but monetary damages are more likely to be claimed through the Financial Ombudsman website.
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  • 5. Check for cancellation policies. Contact your credit card company (if you deposited through card), your bank or your electronic payments provider and ask how you can do a charge back. This is not always a viable option and is affected by many factors, but it’s worth a shot.
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  • *UPDATE for section 5: MyChargeBack.com is a website that specializes in chargeback procedures and assists clients through the (sometimes) complicated process of performing a chargeback. Your chances will increase if you get some professional help when attempting a chargeback so you might want to check them out. You can read a full review of MyChargeBack here.
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    Don’t Give Up!

    Once you’ve done all of the above, it’s time to see what happens and hope for good news. Taking matters to court may be the last resort but this is a tedious and long option. Not all complaints are solved but if you follow our guide, have all the right evidence and documents, stay calm instead of emotional, you might just have a chance. Of course, the better advice I can give you is to open your eyes before opening your wallet – be careful who you are doing business with and maybe you won’t need to go through all the steps above. Finally, I can say the binary options industry is safer than it was 5 years ago, but you still need to check the facts and always be on your guard.

     

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