Saturday 17 June 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Was I scammed?

I started trading business online in 2019 with a company called Investotrade which is assumably based in USA. I used about BWP 100,000. After 2 months I was told that I can request for withdrawal and I did. I was then told that $100,000 withdrawal will require me to pay tax fee of 10% before I can get my profits. Since then because I had no money I couldn't get my profits.

As I was looking and searching for assistance from different people that I meet in the social media, I met some people who promised to assist me to recover my money back. I have been in contact with this people and have even been charged a couple of times and now I am broke. I have so far paid about P10,000. I am now told to pay $103 as the last charge then my money will be deposited in my bank account.

There is yet another company that I met which started trading with recently but heish I have paid more than I expected. I have paid for signals and activation codes so many times but nothing is coming forth.

I'm not sure where to begin. The terrible news for you is that you've been scammed. Three times.

Firstly, Investotrade was a scam. You know this now but the clues were there all along. Investing P100,000 and being told that you very quickly had earned US$100,000 is unbelievable. $100,000 is currently about P1.3 million. They were saying that your money had increased more than 13 times in a very short time and that's unbelievable. I suspect you know that now. The second clue is that they demanded a huge fee to withdraw the profits they claimed you had made. But the withdrawal fee of 10% was more than your initial "investment"? Again, unbelievable.

The second scam was a surprisingly common one. Many scam victims later fall victim again to fake companies claiming they can recover your losses from previous scams. But guess what? It's the same people, the very same scammers. Knowing that they could persuade you to give them your money persuaded them that you were likely to be desperate and willing to fall victim to other scams.

Finally, you thought it was possible to make money from forex trading? Yet again, you were scammed. And again the news is bad. The third scammers? I checked them and they're the same people as the second scammers. The same as the first scammers. One set of scammers, three scams, one victim.

The tragic news is very simple. Scammers never offer refunds. It's time to accept that you were mugged. Not in a street but online. Same crime, different place.

Will the debt go away?

Kindly assist me here with a personal dilemma. Some years back I got two loans from two banks whilst employed in the mining sector. A year later company was liquidated, we were retrenched and 85% of our packages went towards like and as was the contract. I also wrote to the banks. Years later I am still unemployed, I sell some clothes under a business to make a living. I wanted to get a bank loan only to realize I am blacklisted with CRB, the amount is substantial. I wanted to start a business enough to repay the loans. So I wanted to find out what my options are, does CRB also last forever? I am told I can only be removed on clearance which in my current situation I have no hope for. I liquidated myself and returned a vehicle I got under loan when retrenched and cleared minor education loans as well. Kindly assist me.

I wish I had good news for you but I can't offer that. You might have heard the saying that there are two things you can never avoid: death and taxes. In fact there are three. Death, tax and debt. Debt never goes away. Some people will tell you that debt is 'prescribed' after a few years but that just means the courts won't hear a debt case after a few years. It says nothing about your credit record. That can last for ever or until you pay off the debt. Even then it stays online for another 2 years. The reason is simple. It's probably true and other possible lenders need to see your recent financial history to judge if you're a safe bet or not.

If it's useful I can put you in touch with a reputable debt counsellor who won't be able to make your debts go away but they might be able to help simplify them for you.

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