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‘Did You get Your Refund’ Emails Open Binary Options Scam Website

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, I’ve been sent a refund of $231.45.  The email suggests that I click a link to review the transaction online.  The “transaction number” listed in the email implies that the alleged refund is related to an Amazon transaction.

Here’s what the email looks like:

Subject: RE: Did you get your refund?

Dear client,

We have successfully sent your refund.

Please refer this transactions below:

Refund Date: April 20, 2017
Transaction Number: AMAZON4312744
Item Number: FST4136
Refund Amount: $231.45
Status: Completed
>> Please view transaction online

Thank you.

Sadly, there is no refund, from Amazon or anyone else, and the link does not open any transaction document.

Instead, the link opens a decidedly dodgy website that promises to teach me how to get rich very quickly. The site features a video outlining an “amazing” online trading system that promises to make thousands of dollars per day.  The site claims that you can get the software “100% Free”. But, later, it explains that you’ll need to pay a $250 deposit to make the system work.

The supposed system is a typical binary options scam. People who participate will not make the amounts of money described in the video. If they are lucky, they may make a small return on their initial investment. More likely, they will lose the lot. And, to participate, you need to provide your personal information and your credit card numbers. The scammers running such websites may use any information you disclose to steal your identity. Or, they may sell your information to other criminals.

This company is using a deliberately deceptive spam campaign to grab your attention.  Its promotional messages claim that you have received a refund when no such refund exists. And, it implies an association with Amazon when no such association exists.

Any company or individual that uses such underhand tactics should never be trusted with your credit card numbers and your personal information.  If this email comes your way, just hit the “delete” key.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,