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$4700 in Fraudulent Charges, then $12000 in Withdrawals Taken When Trying to Fix it

Discussion in 'Payment Processing Issues' started by Keno, Oct 22, 2012.

    Oct 22, 2012
  1. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    Admins, feel free to move this if it's posted in the wrong place. I'm brand new to posting here and somewhat new to the forums altogether. A really strange and frustrating situation came up and I need some opinions on what to do. In order to rid ourselves of any biases, no casino names will be mentioned until the end.

    ----------HERE'S THE STORY----------​

    The situation involves 5 casinos. Let's call them Casino A, B, C, D, and E. A little over a month ago, I noticed that there had been $4700 worth of charges on 3 of my credit cards that did not belong to any casino, and were not made by either me or my wife. It took a few weeks to discover them because of the way they blended in with other transactions. I play on a lot of different casinos, and make a lot of $50 and $100 deposits specifically. My wife and I first found out about this by one of our credit cards getting declined when it shouldn't have been. Turns out that $2700 worth of fraud charges maxed out that card. That's when I started to compile a spreadsheet of all my deposits from the cashier histories. Besides the $2700 on that one card, we found another $2000 on 2 other credit cards. The spreadsheet I made confirmed that these $4700 in charges did not belong to any casino deposits. The descriptors also did not match any of the legitimate deposits I made at any of the casinos.

    In order to track down the source of these transactions, I sent an email out to the 5 different casinos I played on while the fraud was taking place. The email told everyone about the transactions that appeared on my card, offering everyone a chance to claim them before they got charged back, and included an attached spreadsheet showing all 25 fraudulent transactions: the dates, the amounts, and the descriptors. Casinos A, C, D, and E all responded within a day or two. Casino A's reply was vague, while Casinos C, D, and E denied being part of the fraudulent charges, and cleared themselves by listing all of their legitimate descriptors. Casino B did not reply until a few days ago, which is about 2 months after the charges first appeared on my cards and 2-3 weeks after I sent the email to everyone. At the same time, Casino A closed my account and held onto my pending withdrawals until this was settled -- in total, a little over $12000.

    So that leaves us with only Casino A and Casino B.

    Casino B's reply sometime last week indicated that they DID recognize the (4) descriptors involved. They said that all the charges in question belong to processors they've used in the past, and that other players were falsely charged as well. It turns out we were being charged for failed deposit attempts! For me, that was $4700, and no joke. This was about a month ago, and at the same time nearly every casino was experiencing processor issues. I'm sure most of you remember that. About a week ago, I asked Casino B to reverse the charges on their end so that I wouldn't have any chargebacks on my record. They haven't replied since. So, if I don't hear anything from them in a reasonable amount of time, I'm either stuck with the charges, or forced to do 25 chargebacks.

    Once Casino B replied, I sent emails to all the other casinos explaining that Casino B owned up to all of the transactions and that the issue was settled. I also asked Casino A to open my account up again and continue processing the pending withdrawals. Settled, right? Wrong!

    Casino A responded that because I used the word "chargeback" in my email, that my account would remain closed permanently and no refunds would be taking place. They went on to explain that it's their company policy, because anyone who even says "chargeback" is a vital threat to their security and financials. They also told me that the decision was final, and that I could not appeal it. What the F**K!?!? Here I am trying to do the RIGHT thing by giving all the casinos an opportunity to claim the transactions, and this is what I get in return? I should have just reversed the charges (like a bad customer) and shut up about it.

    On top of everything else going on, my wife has been laying into me heavy lately. "I told you before you played that these online casinos are all crooks!", or "Notice how Casinos C, D, and E didn't lock your account, even though they were in the same position as Casino A. It's because you have no pending withdrawals with them!" And that's what this weekend has been like. A lot of I told you so's and a lot of casino bashing. Since that horrifying response on Friday, my wife (who handles all of our banking and financials) told me that unless Casino A reopens the account and gives us our $12000 in its entirety, that she will be reversing ALL deposits. Obviously that DESTROYS my reputation with the casinos, but she doesn't seem to care much about that. And I can't really blame or disagree with her though. She's right to want the money we're entitled to.

    Thoughts?

    Any idea what to do with Casino A? What about Casino B? I'm open to any suggestions. Also, the casino names will be released in this thread...but not until after some opinions have been offered about the situation.

    Thanks for your help.


    CLIFFS: I noticed $4700 in unauthorized charges on 3 of my credit cards. The transactions didn't match any deposits in any of my casino histories and they weren't mine or my wife's. I sent emails to all the casinos I played on during that time and one of them claimed the transactions. Turns out they were failed deposit attempts that were incorrectly charged as actual deposits. One of the other casinos I emailed closed my account. Their reasoning? I used the word "chargeback", which is a vital security threat to them. This was also the one casino (out of many) that had pending withdrawals. The withdrawals are around $12,000 in total. The casino said they will be leaving the account closed permanently and that "no compensation would be offered" in this case. They also said that the decision is final, and could not be appealed.
     
  2. Oct 22, 2012
  3. rockycatt

    rockycatt meistercatt CAG MM

    Occupation:
    carpenter
    Location:
    Boston
    i just had a failed attempt by someone in or connected to a casino IE processor , a marine /yacht supplier called me instantaneously while they were trying to pull it off they were trying to gaff a 3800.00 dollar navigation system with my credit card , look for my thread about it it was last posted on last week

    if i were you id follow traditional honest business practice here
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  4. Oct 22, 2012
  5. kassiap

    kassiap Dormant account

    Occupation:
    BARTENDER
    Location:
    RIGHT HERE
    If you google the name of the company that put through the transaction you can usually get some clues on who it is.

    Usually It is well known what casinos use what names to get by the credit card companies
     
  6. Oct 22, 2012
  7. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    After I discovered the charges, Google is the very first place I went to look up the descriptors. I tried all different variations of the names, but didn't have any luck. At the time, I wasn't even sure they belonged to a casino. That only got confirmed last week, when Casino B finally replied and said the transactions were theirs, and the descriptors were from an old processor that they don't use anymore.
     
  8. Oct 22, 2012
  9. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    What do you mean by this? Are you referring to the $4700 in false transactions, or the $12,000 in stolen withdrawals, or both?

    I can see doing chargebacks for the $4700 if Casino B doesn't reply soon, but for Casino A and the $12,000, I was under the impression that the casinos were not bound to laws in the US (sorry, I never mentioned that I was a US player). And even if they are regulated by some other gaming commission, isn't there a clause in every casino's T&C that they could close accounts and confiscate money whenever they want for whatever reason? Obviously that's not a reasonable term/condition. I mean, a lot of US companies have that condition too, but it's not always enforceable in our country's courts. For example, "because I feel like it" is not a valid reason in the US, even if a clause like that exists. Again though, international casinos are not bound to US laws of conducting business.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong though. I don't know the first thing about international law.
     
  10. Oct 22, 2012
  11. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    By the way...

    Apologies to everyone if I sound like I'm bitter or that I have some kind of an attitude in my posts. This is all so incredibly frustrating!!
     
  12. Oct 22, 2012
  13. anniemac

    anniemac Ueber Meister MM PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Here's what I would do about the $12000 withdrawals. Pitch a bitch with Maxd. You did nothing wrong. You were trying to get fraudelent charges cleared up and give each casino a chance to see what is going on and fix it. They owe you that money.

    Now as far as the fraudelent charges go, if you didn't make these charges, then you have to take care of your business. Would you let the local Walmart get by with charges that you didn't make?

    There is a big difference in charging back fraudelent charges and charging back deposits because you lost.

    I feel that it is on the casinos to find processors that are legit and it is the casinos job to protect the customer's interest. If they don't, then in my eyes, they are as big a crooks as the people stealing your money.

    And since I am having to deal with my own problems with identity theft, I don't have any sympathy for the thief that stole my personal information and then is trying to use it to file a fraudelent tax return.

    While this may not be the popular view on chargebacks, let it happen to you and you will change your mind quickly.
     
    7 people like this.
  14. Oct 22, 2012
  15. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    Hi Annie,

    I never seem to know what to answer when someone asks me if I made the charges. Casinos have asked me this too, and I knew that whether I answered Yes or No, they could find a way to hold it against me. So I explained first, then left the answer up to them. That's because the transactions turned out to be failed deposit attempts at Casino B. So, I did wind up making the charges myself, but I never received any chips for them, and they weren't authorized. They were just transactions and that's it. On the bright side, no thief was involved and my cards were never compromised. Of course, before Casino B replied owning up to the fraud it was all guesswork, and I couldn't provide an answer other than "the transactions were not authorized" or "I didn't make those charges", you know?
     
  16. Oct 22, 2012
  17. anniemac

    anniemac Ueber Meister MM PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Here's the main question, did you get the money put into your casino account and then play it or did the processors charge you and take the money?

    If you got the money put into your casino account, then you got the product you were charged for. If you didn't receive the money, then somebody else did and the money does not belong to them.
     
  18. Oct 22, 2012
  19. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    The casino A sees this as a risk purely because you are chasing up the refund of the fraudulent charges. The problem is that once the US banks start investigating, they will use UIGEA to justify the reversal of ALL casino charges, not just those that have been taken without permission.

    It seems the casino would prefer you to stand the loss due to fraud on the part of THEIR processors just so that their cover isn't blown and they face mass chargebacks and frozen funds. You did the right thing by giving them the opportunity to argue their case, which they would not get from "normal channels" due to UIGEA and the view that ALL prohibited transactions are considered fraudulent, even where the company supplied the goods and services.

    If this is REALLY such an important matter, why did some casino take 2 months merely to offer a vague reply.

    I suspect this now demonstrates that the processors ARE indeed stealing money from players' cards, and the casinos are trying to keep it quiet rather than ensure that players get the money back.

    Usual practice is for deposits that have failed, but been charged, to be pulled through into the players' casino account from where the player may make a withdrawal. This would avoid the need to go via the bank, which in the US is almost certain to blow the cover of the processors being used, and lead to mass chargebacks and confiscated funds.

    Simply using the C word in an email is not a good enough excuse, it needs to be in a context that makes the casino fear you are using it to blackmail them into doing something that just isn't fair, such as refunding deposits that were played and lost.

    It seems the best move would have been to NOT inform the casinos until your 12K withdrawal had been processed and was safely in your hands. All they could do then was close your account.

    If the processors can freely steal $4700 like this through what should be a "secure system" then something is VERY wrong. These failed transactions should never have been put through, but the authorisation allowed to lapse. It seems the processor just took the money, but never handed it over to the casino, nor even informed the casino this was happening. If players didn't notice, the processor would keep the money. This is fraud on the part of the processor.

    Now that the casino has ditched this processor, it is going to be hard for them to sort it out from their end, but also it surely follows that any resulting chargeback will end at the processor, who would no longer have possession of the casino's money and could not take the money from the casino. The processor would only end up losing money that didn't belong to them in the first place, and if they tried chasing the casino for it, this would also be fraud because the money never made it to the casino in the first place.

    In this atmosphere where processors can "crack" the transaction systems such that they allow them to charge for failed deposits, and then keep the money for themselves, with the casino punishing players who dare to ask for the money to be returned, do you REALLY want to continue playing and face the same risks from the next dodgy processor that comes along.

    There have been so many complaints about this kind of thing recently that there needs to be a proper investigation, not just a policy of "deny everything" and try to pass off a refund as a goodwill gesture. This is not just a few isolated cases, but systemic fraud against US players by a number of US facing processors.

    This could be the start of the end for US players and processing, as there are bound to be even more players approaching their banks direct rather than posting on a forum or using a mediation service such as a PAB.

    If you have not yet told your bank about this, you should quickly submit a PAB rather than set the wheels in motion for an investigation and recovery via the bank. You seem to have enough evidence to identify which transactions should not have been charged, and a PAB should allow this to be dealt with without your bank getting involved. If you DO decide to go through your bank, you will NEVER be able to play online again as you will end up on the high risk list.

    Solving the problem without going via the bank will also remove the risk that Casino A fears, as once you have this resolved, you will not want your bank to know that you gamble online just for the hell of it.

    You will have to persuade your wife to give the PAB process time to proceed, and that she not march straight down to the bank.

    In fact, by playing "hardball" and going via the bank you could end up with more than that confiscated 12K being returned, and this should encourage the casinos to engage in a procedure that corrects only the transactions that should have not gone through, rather than a US bank led "grab back the damn lot" procedure that could result from you revealing your evidence of both this set of charges, and the fact that the processor has managed to bypass measures intended to ensure that only properly processed authorisations are claimed.

    It is similar failures to follow accepted banking procedures that lead to the countless complaints of "double charging" for deposits because the processor has not correctly used the authorisation generated when reserving the funds to pull them in on completion.

    The convoluted and secretive procedures used make it very hard for players to tell which transactions are legit, and which are fraudulent. Maybe it is this confusion that a few rogue processors believe will allow them to take extra amounts with the player not noticing because they "look like casino deposits".
     
    6 people like this.
  20. Oct 22, 2012
  21. anniemac

    anniemac Ueber Meister MM PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    VWM,

    Good luck with him getting his wife to put off doing chargebacks on these charges if she is a pissed as he said. LOL! Also, there is a window of opportunity for disputing charges and if that window closes, you are out of luck.

    I had a charge that 'didn't go thru' but was later charged to my card. The casino very nicely went ahead and credited my account with this after I proved that it had been charged to my account. Whether or not they received their money from the processor, I was not told. Had it been $4700 instead of $50, I don't think I would have received such service from the casino.

    I still believe that it is the casinos' duty to find and maintain legit processors. If they cannot, then they need to just shut down service to the US until such time as it is made legal to gamble online. It would tick me off no end to not be able to indulge but I would be way more ticked if I lost $4700 to some bicycle shop in Dubai.
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Oct 22, 2012
  23. labeled

    labeled Senior Member

    Occupation:
    na
    Location:
    Land of the "free"
    Great post. I'd like to add that if the player is going to be blackmailed from the casino (if you mention chargeback, we'll confiscate your winnings, close your account AND remind you that you'll never play online again if you do a completely justified chargeback with your bank) the few rogue processors have a potential (unwitting) ally with the casino in this type of theft.
     
    5 people like this.
  24. Oct 22, 2012
  25. premiergaming

    premiergaming Banned User - bogus PAB PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    Website design
    Location:
    england
    j

    Canyou mention thename of casino A?
     
  26. Oct 22, 2012
  27. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    Keep in mind that it wasn't even the same casino who closed the account and took the withdrawals. Casino B was the one whose processors charged me for failed deposits, and it was Casino A who used all this as a reason to confiscate my funds and ban me from their casino. (and no, they're not from the same casino group)

    EDIT: Oh yeah, and Casinos C, D, and E -- with no pending withdrawals and no current account balances -- all left my accounts open and in good standing.
     
  28. Oct 22, 2012
  29. harrys99

    harrys99 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Bar Business/Office Management
    Location:
    Wherever I Want
    Or in my case $1000's of dollars charged for airline tickets to Air Berlin Germany.
     
    1 person likes this.
  30. Oct 22, 2012
  31. anniemac

    anniemac Ueber Meister MM PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Yep, Harry99, I almost was charged for some kid's dental work but I caught it in time to have NS delete the charge. LOL! Oh, and the tax return filed in my name.

    Sometimes I think that casinos like to hide behind the processor, e.g. can't send your money, processor problems; fraudelent charges, processor did it; can't pay you at all, processor ran off with money.

    At some point the casino has to take responsibility for the actions of the processor. After all, they hired them, so to speak.

    And the casino that closed the account with a pending withdrawal just because of a discussion with the player over the possibility of a chargeback on fraudelent charges, is wrong and in my opinion, is just trying to get out of paying.
     
    2 people like this.
  32. Oct 22, 2012
  33. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom

    How did you word that email you sent to all these casinos?

    Since casino A were not involved, all they had to go on was your email, and from this they deduced that you were very likely going to go ahead and chargeback every deposit made regardless of the merit of the case. Since they didn't use the dodgy processor, they would have no knowledge that this had been happening, and all they need have done was to show that all the charges made from their processor tallied with deposits made and played in the casino. Maybe they know full well that there is now a widespread problem with processors stealing money from players via disguised deposits, and that once a player realises and starts trying to get the money back, the casino knows that the processors are not going to budge if "asked nicely", but will need to have the money dragged out of them, with the only viable means of making this happen being via the banking insititutions.

    In fact, these are not really "disputed transactions" where the customer and merchant disagree on the charges for the services provided, they are outright thefts from cards by a third party that does not have a direct business relationship with the player, but has access to their account information because they have been given it by the casino.

    If the additional security levels now available, such as "Verified by VISA", had been implemented, such frauds would be much harder to pull off because each individual deposit would need to have the player type in their code on a separate web page hosted by the bank, and not the processor. The loophole is that this is currently voluntary, and transactions do not automatically fail where only the 3 digit security number on the card is used.

    There also seems to be other odd looking complaints too, such as the "verified by VISA" page still authorising the transaction when no password is entered - this should be impossible unless a fake page has been set up to trick the player into thinking he has this extra level of protection, but the processor hosts the page, not the bank, and passes the transaction on as only verified by the 3 digit code. Even worse, by typing in their passcode into a non functioning, and possibly fake, page a few times, the page host could eventually get hold of this password and REALLY set to work draining the card.
    The other seems even worse, where any 3 digit security code seems to work, whereas an incorrect code should cause the transaction to be denied. This again looks "hacked", as though the need for the code is mere "eye candy", with the transaction being passed to the bank as "unverified" by anything other than the card number and expiry date. The bank should not really be letting these through at all, and should INSIST that all merchants at least use the 3 digit security code.

    Someone from the banking industry needs to be asked to comment on how these situations are even possible to set up, let alone work smoothly enough to not disrupt deposits.
     
  34. Oct 22, 2012
  35. labeled

    labeled Senior Member

    Occupation:
    na
    Location:
    Land of the "free"
    I agree, and think it's time for a name so we know whether this is just a questionable casino using any trick not to pay, or a reputable one that might respond well to a PAB.
     
    5 people like this.
  36. Oct 22, 2012
  37. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    I assume you're referring to Casino A's take on it? There were many emails, chats and phone conversations about this. All departments (Customer Service, Cashier, and Security) have been told the full story. They were also provided with updates as soon as Casino B claimed the transactions as failed deposits. When I told them that the problem had been solved, and that the source of the transactions was found, that's when they told me that the account was closed forever, with no refund and no appeal.

    Casino A definitely cannot claim ignorance here. They've been very well informed, from start to finish. Not once did I ever allude to charging back legitimate deposits. The real problem is they had and have me shut out. They refuse to listen to the things I'm saying. They refuse to respond to any of my talking points. If I offer 100% proof that I am in the right (as I did), they act as if I didn't say or offer anything at all. Just a broken record saying "I'm sorry, but this is our final decision, and it cannot be changed." or "We see you as a threat to our financial security, even if you do your chargebacks at a different casino. Who's to say you're not going to do the same to us one day?"

    What kind of world are we living in where a customer gets screwed for having been screwed? It's so messed up.

    The majority of the conversation between me and Casino A was me talking on the phone, or me emailing to them. I've had very few responses from them, and most of their language was either vague, or some sort of a delay. It's not that I don't have all the facts and all the evidence on my side. It's not that I didn't do the right thing, by giving everyone a chance to claim the transactions before I submitted chargebacks to the banks. It's not that I didn't keep them informed every step of the way. I did all of those things. They just don't care.
     
  38. Oct 22, 2012
  39. Keno

    Keno Dormant account

    Occupation:
    CEO of TOTAL Electronic Cigarettes (www.totalecig.
    Location:
    Eastern Coast of the USA
    Okay, fair enough...

    A) ClubWorld Group
    B) Rushmore Group
    C) Slotocash Group
    D) Vegas Online Group
    E) 3Dice
     
    3 people like this.

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