I was a victim of this scam!

I was a victim of the Google Treasure Chest Scam. I can tell you from experience that they are unscrupulous con artists and my advice is "Stay Away from them". Do be very wary of any offers that toot the "Google" name as part of their offer as they are not connected with the "Google" search engine.
Please read about my experience with "Google Treasure Chest" so you will be better informed about how these scams work.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

FTC vs Google Treasure Chest

Today I spent some time on the FTC website reading the lawsuit that FTC has filed against the corporation running the Google Treasure Chest Scam (and other Google named scams). Hope you will take the time to go read it also. http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923060/090622googlemoneytreecmplt.pdf
It is very enlightening and certainly vindicates what I have been saying all along about this being a scam and just why it was a scam. I don't know what the final outcome of this lawsuit will be but I hope these con artists get locked up and the key thrown away. From what is being alleged in the lawsuit the con artists were no better than a burglar that breaks into your house and steals what they can get their hands on.

What seems to me to be so strange about this in regard to the mentality of the con artists is "What were they thinking?" Did they really think they could get away with such blatant disregard for the law? And another thing, why did it take the law so long to go in and take some action.
I guess the con artists think that if they out-source part of the action overseas that the law won't be able to reach them but they better brush up on the law concerning the Electronic Fund transfer act and regulations. The law can still reach them and they can't hide--it just might take a little longer but sometimes that makes the penalty even more stiff when it finally comes home to roost.

The counts being levied against GTC in the lawsuit:
Count 1. Failure to disclose material terms
Count 2. False or unsubstantial representations regarding income
Count 3. False representations regarding affiliation (misleading one to think Google was behind them)
Count 4. Violation of the electronic Fund Transfer Act and regulation E.
(it seems that they should have gotten written authorization or similar pre-authorization
for further debits to your account plus provide you with a copy of such. Also it seems that in the unauthorized debiting of your account they did not even have proper authorization to show to your financial institution to make such a recurring debit. Makes you wonder what other loop holes the financial institutions ignore. I would think that to debit your account electronically that the banks would need to have some kind of proof showing that such a debit could even be made. )
Section 907(a) of the EFTA, l 5 U.S.C. j I 693e(a), provides that a ''preauthorized
electronic fund transfer from a consumer's account may be authorized by the consumer only in
writing, and a copy of such authorization shall be provided to the consumer when made.''
Section 90349) of the EFTA, 1 5 U.S.C. j 1 693a(9), provides that the term '- 'preauthorized
electronic fund transfer' means an electronic fund transfer authorized in advance to recur at
substantially regular intervals."

In numerous instances, the defendants have debited consumers' bank accounts on
a recurring basis without "obtaining" or "providing" a copy of a written authorization signed or similarly authenticated by the consumer for preauthorized electronic fund transfers from the consumer's account, thereby violating Section 907(a) of the EFTA, l 5 U.S.C. j l 693e(a), and Section
205. l 0(b) of Regulation E(a) I 2 C.F.R. j 205. 10(b).

My advice to anyone who was involved in this scam and still having a hard time trying to contact these con artists to get their money returned is to copy the FTC lawsuit PDF and take it to the bank to show them how you were swindled. The bank has some responsibility in this matter too as they maybe should have required more proof that the debit had some merit or backing before they sent your money off to the con artists.