Recover Money Lost to Scams with a Refund.

So, you accidentally sent a lot of money out for that “job” that was going to make you a millionaire in just a few weeks time only to immediately regret it. The “job” you bought into most likely consisted of a website or book that insists that you spend money to do some form of affiliate marketing. Unfortunately, you were ripped off. There is hope however. Follow this information to find out the best ways to get your money back. Feel free to contribute your story in the comments section. It isn’t limited to just the programs outlined here. If you were able to get your money back from any scam, we want to hear about it and include it in the list.

Rebate Processing Refunds

Angela Penbrook and Refunds

A number of our readers have successfully received refunds from one of the worst scams we’ve ever seen. Angela Penbrook is running a rebate processing scam that costs $197. One hundred and ninety seven dollars! For complete crap! If you’ve fallen victim to this scam, follow these stories below in order to get your money back.

Numbers to Call

1-800-875-8042 (Warning: possible sex chat line at times!)

Success Stories

From April:

First I called every one of her 1-800 numbers (and if someone needs one just shout out to me. ) I think the Bimbo has 3 numbers. I called all different times of the day and always got that annoying voice then that annoying music, then I just constantly pressed the “0” until I was connected. Then i spoke to 3 different people who were not nice at all and i composed myself very will because they had the upper hand, all of the 3 people took my name, e-mail address, and last four digits of my card that i put it on and my zip code. They all gave me the same confirmation number. A little funny to me so I kept calling and calling back 3 or 4 times until i got them disgusted. For the first few days i would get funny e-mails like we need your info again and i would keep calling back and keep getting the same confirmation number. Then i finally got a confirmation that i would get my refund in 5 to 7 days and i waited 6 and checked my account and my refund went through. I also recieved a confirmation e-mail from her that i was refunded.

From Patricia:

Today i called 1-866-885-8126 or 1-800-875-8042 and pressed “0″ as soon as I heard the Angela Penbrook greeting and in seconds I got a live person. His name was David Peterson. I told him I wanted a complete refund of my $197 and he asked me my E-mail address and name and what zip code I was from. He then told me that i was going to get a complete refund and gave me a autorization code number for it. Then I called back 2 minutes later and spoke to a woman named Rachel who did the same thing and also gave me the same authorization refund code as the previous Mr. David Peterson. I asked for their address and he told me that he couldn’t give me that information but he was in Urban California. I tried calling the Better Business Bureau and they dont do much but throw you on hold forever. I called my credit card company and I was told that the charge is pending and sometimes they know that you caught on to them and the charge gets dropped off as if you didn’t even make the transaction.

From David:

I called the 866 # just like Patricia did.I don’t remember the girl’s name I spoke with,but she was foreign and spoke english,albeit not clearly.She asked for my name,ph#,and zipcode.I complied and she said that the refund should show up in 4-7 business days on my CC.Unlike Patricia,I wasn’t issued a confirmation #,nor did they ask for the last 4 digits of my CC.I have already spoken with my CC company and forewarned them that I will be asking for a dispute or backcharge on this if they fail to issue my refund as promised.If you dial 800-785-8042,it takes you to the same place as the 866# that Patricia gave out.I’ll be checking my CC online starting this evening.

From Joyce:

Hi again to all, Joyce here again with a big smile because after jumping through many hoops, my credit card company notified me today they are giving me what they call a “conditional refund” of my money. Let me fill you in if it will help others. I sent all the info from the purchase of Angela Penbrook’s program to my credit card co. along with filling out an online dispute of the $197 charge. They emailed me about two weeks later, and asked for a complete and detailed letter about the situation, and also any proof from emails, correspondence, etc. and I was to forward all that to another address, different then the one on their website.
So I typed out a two page letter, along with copies of the email, a copy of the portion of her webpage which shows the 90 day guarantee, explained what the work was supposed to be in detail, etc. I never said “scam”. Kept everything very business like and explained that I could not do this work due to other obligations to my family, and since I have a 90 day guarantee, I should be entitled to my funds back. Mailed it off about 10 days ago, and today got the letter from my credit card company, with another page consisting of 3 questions to answer. 1. Exact date of cancellation of the order. 2. Why was order cancelled? 3. What was the merchant’s response when you attempted to resolve your dispute? (easy one, huh) Must sign and return within 10 days and they are “continuing to investigate this matter on my behalf”. So,to all out there please stick to your guns with the credit card companies, do whatever they want you to do,and whatever info you send, make sure you sign it, your own handwritten signature makes it legal. I checked my account on line just before coming here and I can tell you that the minus in front of the – 197.00 looks pretty good!!!!! Hopefully nothing will change. Must get the paper in the mail tomorrow with the info that the credit card company wants.
Hope everyone that has written to this webpage gets their reimbursement too. Thanks so much for all the honest hearted people who are out their pulling for everyone else.!!!

Getting a refund through eSellerate

Several scammers are running their operations through eSellerate. Including, Cindy Dalton at and Angel Stevens at I’ve heard that they can be difficult in refunding money, but be persistent! The rebate processing scam we bought into was through eSellerate and we still haven’t received our refund yet. But don’t lose hope and try the following advice:

I fell into the same trap and have been writing twice a day to the support site trying to get a refund. So today I thought i’d write an email to their payment gateway provider esellerate. They process the crdit card payments. I just described what had happened and within 3 hours I received an email stating that a refund had been made. Their details are:
Phone: (402) 323-6600

Update: I was able to successfully receive my money back from eSellerate after following the above advice!

Data Entry Refunds Refunds

From Claudette:

I have finally gotten a refund of my $49.95. from Dataentrybusiness. Actually it took some doing: I found this website called which is what was printed on my c/card account as having been creditted to from my accout and i checked it out online and found that all i had to do was punch in my emailaddress that i used to register with dataentrybusness and Essellerate would email me the account no. and the item no, of the registration transaction that i paid for. I immediately used that info i got from Essellerate and emailed dataentry business requesting my refund, and they immediately refunded my 49.95.

From Mitch:

If you havent already set up a paypal account – do so. That is how I paid for the DEB scammers membership (as Paypal is secure and you are insured)- but it doesnt matter how you paid.

You send a REQUEST FOR PAYMENT to : (as that was DEB paypal email account) the amount you want refunded and what I did was put in the ‘note’ box – THIRD AND FINAL WARNING. Failure to refund amount immediately will result a formal complaint to Consumer Affairs and Paypal.

Obviously Paypal knows these scammers – because I couldnt believe how fast my refund came through (I lodged it late last night and had it in my paypal account this morning) To those who dont have Paypal – you then transfer the money from your paypal account to your bank account.

Mich (Australia)

Clickbank and ClickandBuy Refunds

I haven’t found any specific scams operating through Clickbank or ClickandBuy, but use the following forms in order to request a refund from either website.

Clickbank: Customer Service Form
ClickandBuy: Complaint Department Information

Community Project

The list is small as of now, but I plan to update it as frequently as new refund stories come in. If you have a story to contribute, please leave a comment below. We’re always looking for new stories.

Can You Make Money Processing Refunds for HUD?

[Note from Joe 7/17/08: If you read the discussion in the comments section below, you’ll see that Darlene was at one time offering her book for free. She is no longer doing so. Visit her at to purchase it.]

How I Learned about Mortgage Refund Processing
I first heard about mortgage refund processing by reading a job ad on Craigslist. Can you really make money as a refund tracer? By getting refunds for people who paid too much for their mortgage insurance? Hey, I’m a helping kinda gal, and if I could make some money by helping, well that would be just as cool as helping people without getting paid. Maybe cooler!

I wrote to the email address listed and received a reply with more information. The reply said that I could become a third party tracer and would have to pay for software, lists, and a manual, and to visit to learn more. Uh-oh. Of course, that’s not a “job” at all because real jobs don’t charge you to work. I felt a little deceived, but was intrigued enough to click the link.

It led me to a presell page that told me a little bit more, but was really just trying to sell me the software, which costs $39.95. The web site left out some important details, though, that were in the email:

  • It doesn’t say that I would need to buy lists of names and refunds for at least $20 per state.
  • It doesn’t say that I would need to buy a manual of instructions to learn exactly how to get people their refunds and get paid.

How is Mortgage Refund Processing Supposed to Work?
I had no idea what mortgage refund processing was until starting on this path. So for those of you who are also wondering, here’s a quick introduction. If you take out a mortgage without a down payment, you are required to buy mortgage insurance so the lender still makes its money back in case of default. The insurance premiums are tacked on to your monthly mortgage payment. When the home is sold or refinanced, you may be eligible for a refund of some of your premiums if your loan was through HUD or FHA.

The problem is that people move and HUD/FHA loses track of them, so they don’t know they have a refund coming. That’s where tracers come in. Tracers (which is what I would be) find those people, let them know they have money coming, help them collect it, and keep part of the money as a fee.

My Experience
So I contacted the guys at I’ve Tried That and became a Secret Agent. They bought the software, I downloaded it, and am here to report the full results to you.

    It’s not “software.” The product you get for $39.95 is actually something like an e-book designed to be user friendly, with buttons to click through. It’s like a help file. Here’s the definition of software: “The programs, programming languages, and data that direct the operations of a computer system.” Word processing programs and Internet browsers are examples of software. This e-book is not.

    What’s in it? The ebook is basically about 4-6 pages long repeating everything that is already stated on the website with a few more procedures, a contract template, and a HUD application template. That’s it!
    Here’s what the “software” tells you to do:

    1. buy hud lists (at a minimum of $20 per state)
    2. make contact with claimant (no instructions on how to do this, no letter samples)
    3. agree with claimant that you will be his or her tracer, sign contract (template of contract provided)
    4. process applications for contract (one template provided)
    5. get paid/collect your money (no instructions on how to do this)

    The e-book does not mention how you can contact your client, but when you get to the end of the e-book, you get an offer to purchase the manual for only $24.99 in which all these instructions will be given to you. Hello! What was the $39.99 for? Junk. The manual is not even sold through eaglesoftwareservices. You must contact another company or send Eagle a money order so they can place the order for you. (Yeah, right. I’m all over that). The manual is available all over the ‘Net for free. If you want to see it, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you a link.

    Not Just Eagle Software Services
    Upon further research, I found that several other websites are offering the manual up front, such as They sell the manual for $49.95 and their “startup kit” for $16.95. Which I think is what eagle sold us—a start up kit. Other companies are selling the entire kit for $79.99.

    In Search of a Cheaper Manual
    On eBay I found two people selling manuals. For one, the bid starts at $2 and the other has a Buy-it-Now price of $14. Then I actually found the text of the manual online, but it is missing one valuable piece of information: how to get paid. I figured out that you have to somehow collect the money yourself, but I went to another website in which they talk about another method of getting paid by having the refund check sent directly to the tracer, but they are selling their info for $49.99. The manual is available for free at I downloaded the info and made it into a PDF file.

    The Bottom Line
    Can you make money as a mortgage refund processor? Maybe. It’s legal, but there are big hurdles you should know about:

    • You will be competing with HUD-sponsored tracers who will do what you do for free.
    • You will have to hide the source of the money from your potential client, or he’ll just go directly to HUD himself and get his money without you.
    • Those owed refunds can do it without you—you’re not necessary.
    • It only works if your client doesn’t know who owes him money.
    • You will have to spend some money to get started. Maybe a lot of it.

    As far as Eaglesoftwareservices goes, this is not a good buy, in my opinion. Everything in the e-book is already stated on their website, except that the sales page “forgets” to mention that you must buy the HUD lists and that you need a manual with the more detailed instructions. Plus, Eagle’s “software” is just another marketing strategy because when you get to end of the e-book they make you offers on other products you can purchase. Oh, and the e-book also comes with re-sell rights, which means that you can build your own website and resell this book yourself. I suspect that’s how Eagle came across it. They are just reselling the e-book because they don’t even have the manual themselves.

    Eagle advertises “bonus material” that comes with your purchase. What a waste! It’s just another e-book showing you how to start your own mail order business. When you get to the end of this one, you get an offer to buy another e-book/software to teach you to make your very own software to sell ebooks. And you get more offers, more offers, more offers.

    I believe there is money to be made here, but Eagle’s product is not worth buying. Money Wasted. Stay posted, though, because I am going to dig through the manual and try to make contact with clients and see what happens.

    Da Fanster
    (this post will self-destruct in 15 seconds. No, really: it will!)

Angela Penbrook? Angel Stevens? A Scam by Any Other Name…

Hey, you! “Angela Penbrook!” We’re calling you out. You are deliberately misleading people desperate for legitimate work so you can sell your “rebate processing program.” We’re gonna expose you.

When we said we were going to review the “rebate processing jobs” that have become popular over the last year, one of the first commenters asked if we were going to look at Angela Penbrook’s system at or Or is it “Angel Stevens?” It doesn’t really matter because both “women” and their claims are equally misleading.

[Update March 10, 2009: ABC News’s 20/20 program featured this scam on March 6. Click here to watch the segment.]

We didn’t sign up for her program because it was $197, while other sites are offering the exact same “opportunity” for as little as $29.95. And because we didn’t sign up, this is not a full review. It’s merely my opinion based on experience and based on the claims on “Angela’s” own website.

Read All About “Rebate Processing Jobs”
If you’re new to I’ve Tried That, you’ll want to click over to our full review of rebate processor jobs. We signed up for one of them and tell you all about what they’re really offering.

After you’ve read that original review, this one will make a lot more sense. It’s the same pig, just with different lipstick.

It’s Not a Job. They’re Barely Rebates
What Penbrook is offering you is not a job. You’re not going to get batches of work from Home Depot of Blockbuster or Netflix. It is internet marketing. And to call what you would be doing “rebate processing” is deliberately misleading. Here’s how the program is supposed to work:

  • The forms you fill out are used to create Internet advertisements for companies selling products through Clickbank, a large Internet marketing clearing house.
  • After you create an ad, you have to get lots of people to see it. You do this by spreading your ads all over the ‘Net. (Psst! That’s called “spam” and is frowned upon in polite societies.)
  • When lots of people see it, some will click on it.
  • When lots of people click on it, some will purchase whatever your ad is selling.
  • Then, and only then, will you get paid.
  • The “rebate” is you sending part of your commission back to the buyer.
  • Lots of Hype, Little Substance
    Here’s a clue you can use to spot misleading “job” advertisements every time: look for the sales tactics. Why are sales tactics a clue that you’re about to be taken to the cleaners? Because the scammer led you to believe that you’re learning about a job. But if you read the whole page, do you have a good idea of what you will be doing?

    Imagine going to a job interview and your potential boss tells you a sob story about how broke he was, how he finally “made it” and how you can make thousands of dollars a day. Wouldn’t you be suspicious he didn’t tell you what work you would be doing? The same principle applies to Internet “job” advertisements.

    Here are the sales tactics Angela Penbrook uses at See the looooong page that starts out with emotional hype? See the clock ticking down until your chance to buy expires? Those are designed to sell you something, not to get you to do legitimate work. Do you really think the positions are almost full and that “today might be the last day?” It’s a sales tactic. See the testimonials? See the pictures of riches and happy people? All are designed to push your emotional buttons to get you to click and buy.

    The Full Truth About Some of Her Lies
    $15 per rebate? If you make a sale from your Internet ads AND the commission is more than $15 AND you decide to send all but $15 back to the purchaser as a “rebate,” then yes, you made $15. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of “if.”

    Three easy steps? Yes, you can sign up at Clickbank, create ads, and see who has made purchases that are eligible for refunds. I guess those are three steps. But they are NOT easy steps. They’re categories of steps, each one requiring countless hours and clicks. You’ll spend many hours just to get started, let alone the complex steps involved in getting people to see and click on your ads.

    The reasons processing rebates is profitable. These reasons are about halfway down her page, after the table showing how much money you can make. They are deliberately written to make you think companies are dieing to “hire” you to work from home processing their rebates. I hope it’s clear by now that nothing could be further from the truth.

    If You Don’t Believe Me, How About the Better Business Bureau?
    The BBB report has this to say about

    Complainants allege false advertising, misrepresentation, inability to obtain refunds, and failure to honor their money back guarantee. Some customers complain that instead of receiving an employment opportunity, they received only instructions on internet sales tactics. Other complainants report they are unable to speak with anyone at the company or that company personnel is rude or fails to resolve their concerns. Most complainants allege the company fails to provide any information or instructions on obtaining refunds. All complaints are pending at this time.

    And this:

    We believe this company’s advertising is deceptive and misleading. They are not directly offering employment. They sell information, not viable work opportunities. In our experience, the only one collecting any money will be this company collecting your $197.00. We know of no work at home offer that has ever generated the amount of income implied or advertised in the offer.

    Scrubbing the Ick Off
    I could go on, but I’ve spent enough time with Angela Penbrook. I need to go take a shower now. I’m so thoroughly disgusted with her deception, I can’t even tell you. Here at I’ve Tried That, we hear from lots of people who are just trying to make a little extra working from home, and they get taken in by lying pages like this one. They usually spend money they don’t have to sign up for programs they don’t understand. Angela Penbrook knows this and plays your fears to make herself rich.

    We’ve written a book that tells you how to find real jobs online and how to spot deceptive advertising like rebate processing sites use.

    [Update: April 5, 2008]
    This is very revealing. Connie in the comments called “Angela’s” 1-800 number to demand a refund. The rep on the other end of the line took her name and information, put her on hold, and then came back and said her refund was being processed. But Connie never signed up to begin with! “Angela Penbrook’s” operation is probably being run from a kitchen table somewhere with a pencil and paper.

Coming Soon: Mortgage Refunds Processing

Can you make money by processing FHA and HUD mortgage insurance premium refunds? I’ve Tried That is about to find out. Or rather, one of our Secret Agents is about to find out. (Note to self: It’s hardly “secret” if you’re publishing it on a blog. Response from self: So?)

According to the people who are pitching this opportunity online, there are hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in HUD and FHA accounts waiting for people like you to find the rightful owners. The money comes from mortgage insurance premiums that are due to be refunded to the signer of the mortgage, but he or she can’t be found. If you find the owner and put them in touch with their money, you get a cut of the refund.

At least, that’s how the story goes. A number of sites are ready to sell you software and instructions to help you get started in your own HUD/FHA Mortgage Insurance Refund business—for a price, of course. and are among them.

But what do we always say? “No legitimate job will charge you before you can start working.” We still believe that’s true. But we also know there are some companies out there selling legitimate products that will help you do a job or establish a business.

Fany is our new Secret Agent. She writes:

I replied to this one that I found on craigslist and they contacted me back but they are charging a fee for the software. It sounds legit and I did some research on the HUD site and it states, “Other ‘tracer’ companies are legal. But they do not represent HUD, and they will charge you a fee. You do not have to use a tracer to get your refund, if you are owed one.” The program I want to try is I found some forums in which it states that some of these programs are legit and some that say this is a rip off selling you old lists from HUD. I could not locate anything on I’ve Tried That.
—Da Fanster, Private Eye

Doing her own research…bought our ebook, but one of the leads she found is charging her…searched I’ve Tried That for info first. Sounds like a winner! We’re going to sign her up, she’ll give the program a full trial, and we’ll post our results here! That’s what we do here at I’ve Tried That.

Update: Read the full review here.

How to Find Real Jobs Online
Until we get the word back on this program from Da Fanster, why not check out our ebook? It gives you the best information we know about how to find real jobs online. They won’t make you rich, but a couple hundred bucks per month can sure reduce the stress levels.