These people are smooth! I know this is long, but it will be worth reading if you've lost significant money with My Choice Business Services, U.S. Job Assist or Assistance, Money Now Funding, or any other "work from home" business scam.
I received the call from 202-350-4067 from a person identifying himself as Steven Hynes with the "National Fraud Center" (NFC) in Washington, D.C.! He said he was with a department of the NFC investigating companies reported for fraud and my information had come up under the company name I'd had dealings with. His pitch was that, while the NFC did not or could not themselves dispute any fraudulent or scam originated charges with my credit card companie(s), they worked with a for-profit company called Client Services Management (CSM) (888-204-1181) and I could take a look at their website, clientservicesmanagement.com, while he contacted them to see if my case qualified for their service. While the face of that website looks impressive enough, all the information provided there is actually rather vague.
To take advantage of their "mediation" services, CSM wants you to contract to pay them 35% of the prospective recovery amount, 1/2 up front billed as "Document Preparation and Submission," and the balance billed as "Mediation, (Upon Completion)." This means that if you paid $10,000 to a company promising you the world and delivering virtually nothing (if you received any money back in the original scheme, it came from what they got out of you in the first place), CSM will dispute with your credit card company to credit you the amount that company charged you for fraudulent services, and you pay CSM $1750 UP FRONT to get the ball rolling.
Now, if you're out 10 grand, the prospect of paying someone $3500 to get you $6500 back without you having to do all the legwork yourself sounds pretty attractive! BUT $1750 sounds pretty steep for "document preparation and submission" for something that, while "results are not guaranteed," Mr Hynes, who does not profit himself from this agreement but is doing his best to reassure you that this process is virtually a sure thing, has not in 4 years seen the outcome of your predecessors' cases result in nothing recovered - and that even if CSM were not successful, "you would get your initial payment refunded - Plus $1,00! So you can't lose anything by having them go after it for you!"
Sounds great, right? Nowhere in the contract CSM wants you to echosign does it give any such guarantee! In fact, the contract specifically states:
"I understand that this charge will post on the credit card account and/or bank account listed above and that I authorize such charge for Client Services Management. I understand that every effort has been made to accurately represent the products listed above and Client Services Management has not guaranteed or promised any specific outcome of said products. I have seen and approve all items listed above on the invoice as they are described. I acknowledge any and all charges are non-refundable. DISCLAIMER: Client Services Management does not warrant or guarantee the success of the services and work product produced nor does Client Services Management warranty its goods and services for fitness for a particular purpose. Customer acknowledges the above and consents to these terms by signing below."
When you "sign" this contract, you've just effectively authorized CSM to charge your credit card TWICE! Because when they authorize and charge the first part, they will likely also pre-authorize the second charge as well. So even if you change your credit card account number before the second charge is posted, they can still charge your card because they already have approved authorization to do so.
And did Steven Hynes offer up a web address I could refer to to check up on His story? When I asked him, he had to look one up and he sent me to (you're gonna laugh!) fraud.org! But I guess he figured as long as he had me on the phone, I wouldn't be able to effectively check it out. True enough maybe, but, for not benefiting from the proceeds, he was awfully anxious to get my credit card charged for CSM's services TODAY.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED!
I tried reverse lookup on these numbers. 202-350-4067 (NFC) shows up on most sites as a Washington, DC, landline. One or 2 list it a a cell phone. 888-204-1181 (CSM) comes up as a cell phone in Arizona (guess who all else is mostly in AZ?). Either way, you cannot get additional info without paying for it AND it is easy for these companies to route their contact information to almost any address or phone number worldwide!
I barely dodged this bullet, only because it just kept striking me that this Mr Hynes came across just like the scammers he wanted to help me get my money back from: eager to reassure me, quick with plausible sounding explanations. Heck! They're But these people do make mistakes and if you pay attention, you will hear them & alarms go off in your head.
I hope this post saves somebody from a lot more pain and anguish! I'd be very surprised to learn that I am the first person they've contacted with this new format, so I am hoping that by withholding my name and location, they will not figure out who posted this.
If you get this kind of call, get Names and Numbers - and contact the National Consumers League's REAL National Fraud Information Center at www.fraud.org.