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I'm in a Dilemma here, need help.

Baakiblake Member Posts: 1
edited April 2016 in Ask The Community

I'm a full-time freelancer that uses Payoneer to accept payments from companies that I work for and I've been using Payoneer for almost 2 years now. I withdraw my funds on Payoneer using Payoneer debit card on ATMs in my country which dispenses money in the local currency. However, the Dollar to local currency exchange rate at which the ATMs dispense money whenever Payoneer cards are used on them is quite poor, I always end up with about of the half of the money I'm supposed to get which is not Payoneer's fault anyway, my country's banking system is to be blamed. For example, I get $256 worth of money in local currency despite withdrawing $500 on the ATMs using Payoneer debit card.

This makes online freelancing very discouraging and it has always been bothering me. I even appealed to Payoneer some times back to enable the "Local Bank Withdrawal" feature for my account, thinking that maybe by withdrawing my funds to my local bank, I will get a better dollar to local currency exchange rate, thereby getting more money than using the local ATMs in the process. However, I was told that my country isn't supported at the moment and that I will be notified when it's. I'm still waiting, no notification yet.

I kept on looking for alternative ways of withdrawing from Payoneer, then I stumbled upon a site which looked professional and legitimate, offering Payoneer to local currency exchange service i.e. you send funds from your Payoneer account to their Payoneer account and they send you the equivalent minus the fees they will charge you in local currency to your bank. The money I will be transferred will be far more than the money I will get if I was withdrawing using the debit card on the local ATM, the Dollar to local currency exchange was better. I chatted with the owner,he was forthcoming and sounded convincing, also the fees was very low, so I decided to try his service out, which turned to be a very big mistake on my part.

I sent the funds to his Payoneer account and I notified him that the money has been sent. He confirmed it, then I waited for him to transfer the local currency equivalent to my bank account, but (to cut a long story short) up till now (i.e. since 2 days ago) he hasn't sent the money to my bank. He doesn't reply messages on his site anymore, he has even blocked me on Skype and Facebook. From all indications, he has scammed me.

I know I'm at fault for what happened to me (which didn't make me file a dispute) but is there any possibility of reclaiming my funds back? but if it's not possible to get back the money, is it possible for the scammer's account to be locked so that no other Payoneer account holder becomes a victim again?