SO my story begins like everyone elses... just about. I recieved my call on my cellular phone on March 11, 2005 about a $5000 grant I would get for a $249 processing fee. Because I was a law--abiding and tax-paying citizen, I deserved the right to receive the money they had researched for me. Unlike the others I have read about who were hit with the scam, these "Indians" already HAD my bank account information, including my routing number. All I had to do with them is CONFIRM what they had to get the ball rolling (so they said).
I am thinking, I am in college, I have done good for myself, but I could really use the money. So ok "Indian", do your thing! I did argue that I would have to receive the information before I authorized the draft. I did this while they were recording me on this voice print thing and the CS represebtative was agitated that I was asking questions during this automated question/answer session. They said - NO PROBLEM. They set the draft for April 2, assuring me I would receive the information in time. Meanwhile, I waited, but never received anything. So before I went out of town, I called them on March 31 and cancelled (mainly because I saw this in ripoffreport). I was told then that the previous CS representative was mistaken and the packet was only sent after I paid them. Be that as it may, they gave me a cancellation number.
At any rate, I was confident that it was over.
While on my vacation the following week, on the beautiful beaches of Pensecola, sipping my martini in a $2.6 million condo, I pulled up my bank statement to see a charge of $249. I went ballistic - vacation ruined. I couldn't get in contact with AGI, so I called the bank and opened a fraud claim. I got my money back instantly. It took me until the next day to get in contact with AGI. And when I did, I asked why they processed me if I cancelled. They said it was a clerical error, but would have someone contact me within 2 days to confirm the cancellation and send me out a packet which I would sign and return for the refund HUH? "That is unacceptable," I said... "but I will play your game".
2 days; and NO call. So I called back... O it was another mistake.. we will call you back. So patiently I waited, and NO CALL. This time, TODAY, I had already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau who sites this company as having bad business relations. AGI (located in Ohio) is actiually connected with Velink here in Atlanta, but the "Indians" work for E Call International who are the contractors - and they are in India (hence the heavy accent).
As of today, I am still waiting on that packet.. but WAIT - remember; if you made it that far - the voice print recording they made of you confirming the conversation. Just prior to that was an advertisement for Protel Communications. The voice print I did was actually confirming the set up of services for Protel - not confirming AGI (since they obviously had my information and had been recording it all along). The draft from Protel alerted me to this portion of the sam, who I also filed a fraud claim against. When I called them, they said they could give me a refund if they played the recording back and it said I DIDN'T want the services... after 4 calls; they miraciously can't find the recording because it is from a 3rd party that is off site. But that's OK... They are already in the BBB hit list - my complaint just added to the fire.
I encourage you to file complains with the BBB - ASAP. And if they had any of your information, as they did mine, I would close and reopen a new account. Bank Of America has been awesome about the whole thing.
U.S.A. EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back! HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent! DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form. CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com EDitor@ripoffreport.com bad
Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!
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We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency ...by consumers, for consumers CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.