UPDATe July 11: Advcash has reached out to us with the following statement:
1) We are trying to return money back to the customer and for this we are working with Compliance Officer of the card issuer and I’m awaiting for his reply tomorrow.2) We don’t take 35$ for each transaction, it’s mistake of our customer service representative and she will be fired from her position after end of July. We will take 35$ to review overall fraud case of the customer.
Bitcoin enthusiasts will have heard of the company Advcash before. This online platform lets users order virtual and physical debit cards, and balances can be topped up with Bitcoin, among other payment methods. As it turns out, one user has noticed strange account activity, as his account was emptied. It looks like this platform is a far cry from secure, and they are not helpful in getting funds back either.
Advcash Digs Their Own Grave
A Reddit user makes a mentioned how his Advcash card was apparently cloned. Several dozen ATM withdrawals were noted on his account, all denominated in Rupiah. Considering how he claims the card was barely used it remains a mystery as to how users obtained these details.
Card cloning is a grave concern to every individual and enterprise, yet we often think it won’t happen to us. Unfortunately, these types of illegal activities are far more widespread than people anticipate. Most card issuers will try to help customers in getting their money back, though. Advcash’s policies work against the customer when it comes time to filing chargebacks.
According to the report, the Advcash customer support told the user how he could file a chargeback procedure. The catch is, every transaction would be subject to a US$35 fee, and may take p to 90 days to complete. With 29 fraudulent withdrawals, this would result in paying US$1,015 in fees on a sum of US$4,685.
While the Advcash team is not to blame for the card cloning itself, the company was unable to stop the fraudster from withdrawing the remaining balance on the card. They never detected fraudulent transactions, nor did they undertake any effort to block further transactions. To top it all off, the chargeback fees for fraudulent transactions are almost high enough to force users to say “forget about it, let them steal my money.”
Granted, Advcash is a small company residing in Belize – an area of lax regulations and oversight – issuing debit cards than can be topped up with Bitcoin. Retrieving these funds will be next to impossible without paying the fees by the look of things. It remains to be seen how the company would respond to this problem over the coming weeks. But it is clear they will not be able to keep customer information safe either, if they have no ways of – or interest in – detecting fraudulent transactions.
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