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Old 03-17-2020, 11:34 AM   #201
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ATTENTION THIS IS A FRAUD DEAL

I just walked into a Synovus Bank coz something the clearing info worried me about this whole deal.
They did not know anything about this deal and looked up my rep Mark Guntle. He does not work for Synovus.
The Apex Clearing firm is a fraud firm.
Harley - will send you a PM.
Wow. Hope no one on this board loses any money.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:36 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
ATTENTION THIS IS A FRAUD DEAL

I just walked into a Synovus Bank coz something the clearing info worried me about this whole deal.
They did not know anything about this deal and looked up my rep Mark Guntle. He does not work for Synovus.
The Apex Clearing firm is a fraud firm.
Harley - will send you a PM.
If it is a fraud, then obviously I apologize, as I was simply going based the info shown on the website, as I'm sure you were.

Mods - based on what Dtail is indicating, maybe remove my original post as well as the followups, so others do not potentially fall into this.

Dtail - is it possible that the Synovus folks you spoke with at the bank are not familiar with this group? It says right on the web page that it is "A Synovus Company".
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:49 AM   #203
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The Apex Clearing firm is a fraud firm.
Many are using Apex - including Ally:
https://investorjunkie.com/stock-bro...learing-firms/
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:07 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
If it is a fraud, then obviously I apologize, as I was simply going based the info shown on the website, as I'm sure you were.

Mods - based on what Dtail is indicating, maybe remove my original post as well as the followups, so others do not potentially fall into this.

Dtail - is it possible that the Synovus folks you spoke with at the bank are not familiar with this group? It says right on the web page that it is "A Synovus Company".
They looked up the rep I was dealing with who I called generically with the number provided on the reference and stated for sure that he does not work for any Synovus company.
She also stated that the Wealth Management Group is located within the retail branch like BOA/ML. The rep I was dealing with stated that they operate totally separate from the retail branch and they wouldn't know about the deal.
Additionally the email that the person used "groupsynovus", she stated that no one uses that email at any divisions at Synovus.
Also stated that there are no offices in Virginia, where he stated he was located.
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:08 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
Many are using Apex - including Ally:
https://investorjunkie.com/stock-bro...learing-firms/
The clearing firm quoted was "Apex Trading House", which is not the same firm that Ally uses.
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:10 PM   #206
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Wow. Hope no one on this board loses any money.
Harley supposed to fund his account today. I sent him a PM.
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:18 PM   #207
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They looked up the rep I was dealing with who I called generically with the number provided on the reference and stated for sure that he does not work for any Synovus company.
She also stated that the Wealth Management Group is located within the retail branch like BOA/ML. The rep I was dealing with stated that they operate totally separate from the retail branch and they wouldn't know about the deal.
Additionally the email that the person used "groupsynovus", she stated that no one uses that email at any divisions at Synovus.
Also stated that there are no offices in Virginia, where he stated he was located.
That would all make me suspect as well.

I apologize again.
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:45 PM   #208
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That would all make me suspect as well.

I apologize again.
No problem njhowie. You have given us a wealth of info which have provided many of us with great deals and bonuses.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:22 PM   #209
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It does beg the question though as to whether we should be highlighting promotions that might not be legitimate.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:46 PM   #210
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Just as a heads up, that was a scam. I'm ok, but it was a very close thing. I'll give more details later.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:22 PM   #211
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Just as a heads up, that was a scam. I'm ok, but it was a very close thing. I'll give more details later.
Thank heavens - I've been having heart palpitations for the past hour.

I can't apologize enough about this.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:26 PM   #212
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It does beg the question though as to whether we should be highlighting promotions that might not be legitimate.
Personally, njhowie has provided good info on many great deals and I would like to continue to hear about them.
Everyone needs to do some due diligence. Yes, Harley and I (no financial patsies) were close to a big mistake and there is a lesson to be learned from it.
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:48 PM   #213
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If I'm following the thread correctly though, one key difference between prior deals that many of us have taken advantage of was that they were directly with the bank or credit union issuing the CD.... in this case it was through an intermediary... an agent... rather than directly with Synovus. Is that correct?

I'm glad it was figured out before anyone got burnt.
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:59 PM   #214
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If I'm following the thread correctly though, one key difference between prior deals that many of us have taken advantage of was that they were directly with the bank or credit union issuing the CD.... in this case it was through an intermediary... an agent... rather than directly with Synovus. Is that correct?

I'm glad it was figured out before anyone got burnt.
Agent - yes and no
He stated that his wealth division was a part of Synovus, but all other aspects sounded like more of an agent.

The name of the bank where the wire instructions were to be sent to appears to be a legitimate bank. I wonder if they know about this whole scam.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:00 PM   #215
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The link has changed to say they are a Community Federal Company

[mod edit - removed link, appears it was a scam]
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:08 PM   #216
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THE STORY (long, and the mods should feel free to move it to another thread if they think it appropriate. Maybe start a Darwin award forum):

OK, first off, no blame to njhowie at all. This was a perfect example of "If it's too good to be true, it's not true". I've listed all the red flags I ignored, just for educational purposes. The first one was that the rates were too high, and they didn't drop when the Fed dropped the interest rate.

I got started on the process by calling the number on the [mod edit - removed link, appears it was a scam] website. Red flag #2 - No email information, just a phone number. I spoke to a Mr. Mark Guntle, who described the products and the process, which sounded pretty legitimate. I don't think I'd have fallen for this if it wasn't listed as part of Synovus Bank, which is my bank.

Anyway, while filling out the application that he sent I was doing some due diligence (ha!). I looked up Mark Guntle on BrokerCheck.com, and there he was, listed with DMG Securities. They have been in business for decades, and have a pretty good record. Red Flag #3 - The company name wasn't the same. Neither was the phone number, although the address was. But I missed that at first.

When I started the $250,000.00 wire transfer, Red Flag #4 I was disturbed by the fact that if he was with Synovus and I was with Synovus, why did I have to transfer the funds through Apex Trading House. But I ignored my misgivings and did the wire transfer. I followed the proper procedures, receiving the wire transfer information via email, then calling Mark Guntle to verify they. Obviously if you get the original information from a scammer, that's not a real security check.

A few minutes later, I got the confirmation call about the wire transfer. While I was confirming, I did a quick internet check on Apex. They are registered in Sheridan WY (Red Flag#5). Not a hotbed of the financial industry.

Anyway, I gave the approval on the wire transfer, despite the nagging voice in the back of my head. But just as I hung up I noticed the company (Apex) had only been registered since July 2019. I freaked out and called the Wire Transfer Dept. back, but they had already put it through. I'm talking less than 2 minutes, but the money was gone! I asked if they could recall it, and they told me I'd have to deal with my branch. I drove there (1/2 mile, took me about 10 seconds) and talked to the manager. She started the recall process, but didn't think it would do any good. Once they send the money, it's like a cash transaction. It's gone. I had my laptop and tried to show her the website saying they were a Synovus company. Well guess what? Today it said they were a Community Federal Company, Cleared by Apex Clearing. All references to Synovus were gone.

At this point I had already assumed I'd lost the money, and was going insane. I called Mark Guntle and asked him to cancel the transaction. He hung up on me. Bad sign.

Now here's where I give myself a little credit, although up to here I think I had been a total idiot. I felt like panicking and running around gibbering, but instead I called the receiving bank, Community Federal Savings Bank in Woodhaven NY. I explained the situation, and gave them the account number for the wire transfer. They told me that wasn't a real account number for them, it was a holding account for a company called Transferwise, who do international financial transactions. They are a legitimate company, although from what I've learned since they also are used by international scammers just like was being done to me. Anyway I spoke to someone there and again explained the situation. He took my information and said he'd get back to me. Not totally encouraging. I also called the Mrk Guntle that I *thought* I had been dealing with, and let him know that someone was using his name, address, and a similar company name. He had never heard of me, proving again that it was a scam. I don't think he believed me about the identity theft. At this point my branch manager said there was nothing else to do, I'd just have to wait until tomorrow.

So I came home and broke the news to DW. She's amazing, and I'm still alive and married. But it was incredibly traumatic. While I was waiting I filled out an FBI Internet Fraud report. DW and I talked and took a walk and tried to come to terms with it. It's not the worst thing we've been through together, but it was pretty high up on the list.

Finally, at 5:30 pm I got an email from the Synovus Wireroom team, saying that my money was back in my account!!!!! That was almost as traumatic as the first realization of the scam. I'm not sure my heart can take much more of this. I still, at this point, don't know which of the two organizations (Community FSB or TransferWise) caught the transfer and reversed it. I hope to find out tomorrow. But I think it was Transferwise, and I think they process all their outgoing transfers in a batch after business hours. So only the fact that I moved so quickly gave us a chance. Of course, moving quickly is what got me into the situation in the first place.

So, that's the saga. I am thanking God and we are considering this found money at this point. We will spend a little time figuring out how to share our good luck, but we've definitely got to do something. We can't even go out to eat to celebrate, since we're staying home and everything is closed anyway. There may be a large glass of bourbon in my immediate future, though.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:09 PM   #217
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[QUOTE=RetiredAndLovingIt;2390175]The link has changed to say they are a Community Federal Company

[mod edit - removed link, appears it was a scam]

I noticed that too.
Their internet link "[mod edit - removed link, appears it was a scam]" still states that the accounts are marketed by Synovus Bank. I guess they haven't thought of updating that aspect yet.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:28 PM   #218
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Just catching up on this thread...and WOW.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:28 PM   #219
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Holy cow, thank you for sharing your lesson with us in detail!!!! So glad all turned out well for you!!! This story has taught me to trust my worrying inner voice and not those who tell me to relax and trust.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:50 PM   #220
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Harley.....so glad you were clever and able to have the transfer reversed. Sounds like you figured it out before it was reported here?

If the minimum was 10k instead of 200k I couldíve got sucked in easily.

Someone should pursue this. How can you have a website taken down? At the least report it on scam .com.

On another note I reported a local broker advertising 3.04 apy for 12mos w/FDIC in the Washington Post. It looked sketchy but I called them up and it sounded legit. They sent me a flyer in the US Mail. Thatís a green flag since most scammer avoid using USPS. Later this year I may look into using them but Iíll be extra careful after this. Amazing.
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