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Final update to the JBC scam saga.

For background see the two earlier articles.

David reported in comments that he has written to ASIC. He has had a response which I cannot detail here. But they are taking his complaint seriously.

What is not so good has been the response from his bank.

Apparently Mastercard have a system called Mastercard Secure, or Securecode. This is supposed to provide protection for cardholders against fraudulent transactions, and protection for merchants against false chargeback claims.

I have been a Mastercard user for years and had never heard of this scheme.

If a merchant is a member of Mastercard Secure, and they attempt to ‘authenticate’ a transaction through this system, then even though there is no communication with the cardholder, the merchant is protected against any chargeback claim. 

JBC has heard of it, and are registered for Mastercard Secure.

I have checked with Mastercard, and I was amazed when I heard what this scheme means in practice.

What the Mastercard Secure system means is that any merchant who is registered under the scheme can deduct any amount from your card at any time. As long as the merchant attempts to ‘authenticate’ the transaction through the system, you, the cardholder, have no protection at all.

Mastercard will not attempt to communicate with you unless you have also joined Mastercard Secure. They will simply confirm the transaction as legitimate without checking with you, and you then have no recourse, even if, as in JBC’s case, the merchant is a known scammer.

This scheme, whatever its intended purpose, protects fraudulent merchants or scammers from genuine chargeback requests at the expense of cardholders.

I for one will be moving on from Mastercard.

Update:

David reports the fraudulent debit to his Mastercard has been refunded. The Securecode system does not protect merchants who deduct funds without authorisation, or transactions which are dishonest, as JBC’s debit to his account was.

He also reports discussions with the Australian Securities and Investment Commsission. Without discussing any individual business, they assured him that they and the Federal Police actively pursue scam sellers of sports betting or share price prediction software.

The smooth patter and glossy advertising material that promoted the JBC software was normal for scammers. Most people would see through that, or at least, still have questions. What made JBC more convincing to ordinary people was the fake websites they had set up. These were calculated to give even someone who checked carefully the impression that JBC was a legitimate and well-respected business.

Setting up fake websites to give your product an air of respectability it does not deserve is deliberately dishonest. These people are thieves, nothing more, despite their fancy advertising.

12 Responses to “JBC Shares Trading Software”

  • Stacey says:

    Peter,
    Thank you for your detailed account which provides a glimmer of hope for others who have been scammed by JBC or its predecessors.

    I had contacted my bank and submitted a complaint to ASIC regarding Sage Sentinel Pty Ltd prior to fnding this site(same scam, no website). I have received an automated acknowledgement from ASIC and my VISA card provider has recorded initial details with promise of follow-up in 4-6 weeks.

    I’m not optimistic about recovering funds so late in the day (the debit occurred almost 12 months ago) but it’s great to hear that David was successful and how this was achieved.

    Thanks again for sharing David’s story through to its conclusion.

  • Stacey says:

    “David reports the fraudulent debit to his Mastercard has been refunded. The Securecode system does not protect merchants who deduct funds without authorisation, or transactions which are dishonest, as JBC’s debit to his account was.”

    VISA customers beware – unlike Mastercard, VISA appears unconcerned about fraudulent transactions by known scammers. As an individual VISA cardholder I have been asked to:
    1. demonstrate that the contract with Sage Sentinel is current
    2. request a cancellation of the contract
    3. provide evidence that the Sage Sentinel trading software is “not as described”

    In the interim, the stockpile of victims grows, many having lodged complaints with ASIC, the Office of Fair Trading, police, credit providers or pursued civil claims.

    The response from ASIC has also been lukewarm at best. Initially disinterested because Sage Sentinel is no longer registered in Australia, there was a glimmer of interest when I provided them with evidence that the company is still trading, an obvious breach of corporations law. But the days pass and still no action is initiated.

    Yes – I’m disappointed by the response of the regulatory body and my credit provider.

  • isaac says:

    JBC got me as well. Could someone tell me the course of action to get a refund on my visa card?

  • Stacey says:

    Hi isaac,
    Sorry to hear your news. I encourage you to ask your credit card provider for a chargeback at the earliest opportunity. The chargeback process is simplest if it is less than 60 days since the transaction appeared on your credit card statement but a chargeback can be made up to 12 months after the transaction. You will need to show that you have tried to resolve your complaint with the company, have requested a refund and have offered to return the software. It may help to do some reading about the consumer credit code. I claimed a chargeback because the software is not as described and not fit for the purpose for which it was intended. The company claims that the software is not a tool to inform decisions about which ASX stock to purchase. The absence of information about how the ranking is determined means that any purchase based on software recommendations is a leap of faith.

    Please take the time to lodge a complaint with ASIC. ASIC will respond to breaches of the Corporations Act which includes companies who offer financial products for sale without having an Australian Financial Services Licence.

    Please post and let us know what happens.

  • John Dorward says:

    I am a Sage Sentinel purchaser. I should have known better because I am in the Financial Planning industry. I was in the market for charting software and the timing was perfect for the scammers. I checked them out on Dunn and Bradstreet and found little info, but no negitive info. I purchased the system in Dec 08. I used the system as per instructuons for paper trades and made several calls to the company “help” desk when I was finding my paper trades were almost 100% unsuccessful. The normal response was that everyone else was doing well and that it was a bad time in the markets. I never asked for a refund however, as I felt it would be pointless. I tried a small actual trade when the market improved…similar poor results. I have abandoned use of the system. I tried to call the company this morning and found that the numbers no longer provide connection.
    Does any one know where they are? Is there any chance of a class action?. I would include myself in such an action.
    Any response to this email would be appreciated.
    John Dorward (embarrassed)

  • Stacey says:

    Hi John,
    I was in communication with Sage Sentinel in mid February this year but they stopped responding to emails and disconnected the phone after I requested a refund and advised them that I was aware that they were no longer registered and did not have an Australian Financial Services Licence. I understand that ASIC sent a letter to Sage Sentinel advising them that they weren’t meant to trade after voluntary deregistration. Ouch – that must have caused a few sleepless nights LOL. The merchant bank rejected the chargeback due to the time lag. They obviously weren’t concerned about the scam perpetuated by their customer.

    It seems that scams are so pervasive that nobody cares to pursue the scammers – even while they are still very much within reach. No doubt Sage Sentinel will reinvent themselves and pop up somewhere else, if they haven’t already.

    Who will act to stop them?

    Regards, Stacey

  • Stacey says:

    a postscript …

    The rules that allow a merchant bank to reject a chargeback after a 60 days or other fixed period should NOT apply when there is clear evidence that the company was, at the time of the transaction, in breach of corporation law – specifically the requirement that companies who provide financial services to Australian consumers (including the sale of financial and investment products) hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).

    It is unconscionable that consumers can be misled by scammers, politely ignored by regulatory bodies and then discover that the scammers can hide behind chargeback rules that were created to protect legitimate businesses.

    I didn’t change my mind about a dress I purchased a year ago. I discovered I’d been scammed. I want my money back. I want to warn others to be vigilant, not to trust what people say.. But mostly I want greater accountability within the ‘system’. Our rules and our inaction are part of the problem. We need to move the furniture are take a good look at the cracks in the wall – and then get to work and fill them!

  • Peter says:

    Hi Stacey.
    I agree completely.
    Rules designed to protect genuine businesses are being used by fraudsters to protect their thefts. I find it incomprehensible that banks will not assist their clients by refunding money when a ‘business’ has plainly acted dishonestly.
    And I don’t understand why our regulatory and enforcement agencies cannot or will not do anything to stop these bastards.
    Not good enough.

  • Stacey says:

    Welcome back Peter 🙂 We have missed your posts but completely understand that you have had an awful year and needed to take some time out to focus on the important people in your life. I’ve been interviewing people in their mid-late 80s and 90s recently and they consistently say that family is THE most important thing in life…along with friends and mates, rituals and celebrations. I spent the afternoon with a 99 year old today – what a privilege this was. He insisted on carrying one of my bags and walking me to the car and I was reminded that life has some precious moments and that this was one of them.

  • John Dorward says:

    Hi Stacey and Peter,

    Yes the syetem seems to allow people to become white collar thives and then go and hide somewhere. The disappointing thing is that there is no redress. As I said, in my industry the legislation is now really good and customers can be certain that they are quite safe (within limits). What trobles me is that they have disappeared with my money and several others money as well…that they are still in the country…and probably scamming someone else…what is the solution?

    Thanks for your response.

    John

  • Stacey says:

    I am waiting for a determination from the Financial Services Ombudsman. Merchant banks provide scammers with access to consumer credit. It is time they were made accountable for the absence of due diligance in checking even the most basic legal requirement – ie that providers of financial services hold an Australian Financial Services Licence. Not only do banks wash their hands of any responsibility – they also profit from the activities of scammers through interest payments. It’s unconscionable.

  • Peter says:

    Hi Stacey. I hope the Financial Services Ombudsman has some sense and is able to address your concerns. Are you still waiting to get money back?

    Unconscionable is a good word to describe the banks’ profiteering from these criminals. As well as credit the banks offer them merchant services, out of which they also make money. They should be held accountable.

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