How can I get my money back from a wire transfer? (Cash Gifting Program aka Online/Internet Ponzi Scheme)

Asked over 1 year ago - Manteca, CA

Here is the best website I found that provides information on what a cash gifting program is & more. I wired $3k to someone particpating in this type of program. Yes, I was naive. I called the person & requested my money back. The person said, no. I called my bank & tried to do a recall on the wire transfer, but the person who recieved the money blocked it. My bank called me & said all I can do now is take legal action. I have no knowledge of what to do and I NEED to recover my money. Here's the advice the site gives. My mom said to file it in small claims court. I want to call & warn him about taking legal action, so hopefully he'll send my $3k. If not, I need to take legal action. Advice?

Additional information

The program is well organized and operates online. It is methodical like a business, but there is absolutely no product or service. The people involved market it through various methods here in the USA and even internationally (email, phone, etc). The highest level people can 'gift' in the program is $10.5k. Before officially joining the program they have you sign two documents (basically to cover themselves). I forgot what they call the documents but I did NOT sign any of them (thank goodness). If you want to have a better understand about what CASH GIFTING PROGRAMS are, the website I provided has only a few articles but explains it all. Again, I really need the money back. We aren't supposed to state any personal information here, but please understand that I am young (teen). The $3k is a lot for me. Thank you and please help me with this.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Charles Richard Perry


    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If the goal is simply to recover your $3000, then your remedy is in small claims court. It is best to write a demand letter for the return of the money, instead of simply making a telephone call. That way, you can show the letter to the judge if you are not given your money back, and there will be no dispute about what was said in the communication.

    If your goal is broader than that, such as to attack the scheme as a whole, then you have other options. It may make sense to report this matter to the appropriate unit of the police, district attorney, or even the FBI. You may have civil claims to bring the scheme to a halt. On the other hand, the chances of recovering money from people who set up the scheme may be quite small. If you are seriously thinking about something other than small claims court, you should contact a lawyer first.

  2. Athina Karamanlis Powers


    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues.
    There are ways to find the address of those people.
    Found that those individuals are registered in the US with an American Domain name company located in Pennsylvania.
    There are simple procedures to trace them through the company and by reporting them to ICANN
    You need to be very careful. As a California Attorney and one of the very few that are Fraud Examiners ( CFE member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) i receive every day alerts about new scams. . You describe in your question one of those schemes. and

    Good luck

    Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not... more
  3. Robert V Cornish Jr.

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . You may wish to file complaints with state and local authorities. The first place to file may be the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, The other may be the California Dep't of Corporations Financial Fraud Unit,

    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client... more

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