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Beware of Skrill!

By Brent Johnson

Skrill (www.skrill.com, https://skrill.com) is an online financial institution that is one of the organizations that lets you transfer currency into a form for purchasing Bitcoins.

I used Skrill for that purpose and found, to my dismay, that the organization is engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, and outright theft.

I had no problems as long as I was sending money to my Skrill account or transferring funds from it to a website from which I purchased Bitcoins.

However, when I sold some Bitcoins and tried to withdraw the funds from my Skrill account, I had no end of trouble.

The first time I tried to withdraw funds, due to an error in the entered account my withdrawal was refused and the funds were returned to my account, but not before Skrill took 3.99% of the withdrawal.

When I re-entered the information - this time properly (at which point Skrill took another 3.99%) - and sought to withdraw the funds, Skrill refused to allow me to proceed unless I first went through an additional validation process, even though their own instructions said that a withdrawal in the amount I sought could be done without any additional validation.

Skrill sent me an email with the documents they required in order to complete the validation. I scanned and emailed them my U.S. passport, my driver’s license (front and back), an original statement from my bank (with an original bank stamp and officer’s signature affixed to it), and a photo of me holding my driver’s license. I received an email telling me it would take a few days for them to process the information.

Several days later, I called Skrill to find out the status of my validation. I was told that my identification documents were fakes, and then the Skrill agent hung up on me! I was livid! I called back and reached a competent and capable woman, who explained that nobody in their division was authorized to tell me such a thing, nor did they have that information at the call center. She said she would research the matter and send me an email within 24 hours. She actually helped me to calm down and I agreed to wait for her email.

The next day I received an email telling me that Skrill had determined that I was in violation of their terms and conditions and that they were taking (i.e. stealing) 150 euros from my account. I was instructed to withdraw the balance and close the account. The email said this determination was final.

I called back to find out who to contact to challenge this determination as was told that there was nobody I could call to do that.

All Skrill has to do to verify my identity was contact the U.S. Department of State to confirm my passport, the issuing agency to confirm my driver’s license, and the bank to confirm my account. Obviously they didn’t do that. For some reason they decided I was not who I said I was, and used that decision to justify stealing my money.

I did receive an email from the woman with whom I spoke who said she would email me within 24 hours, and she said that Skrill is investigating the matter. I then received a second email from another woman who essentially said the same thing and told me to reply to her email if I had anything else to say. I did so and explained that the only resolution I would accept is the return of the 150 euros that were stolen from me.

Subsequently, Skrill returned 150 US dollars to my account (they said they took 150 USD and not 150 euros like they originally said). I was then allowed to withdraw the entire 1373 USD from my account. However, when it finally arrived in my account, it was substantially less than expected (there were currency conversions and another 3.99% that Skrill took but that doesn’t account for the extensive discrepancy in what I should have received). Skrill told me that the various banks associated with the wire transfer each must have taken some but I am still very suspicious that more was taken than is legitimate, and nobody at Skrill would send me a written explanation of precisely how much was taken.

I did file a formal complaint with INTERPOL, accusing Skrill of cybercrime and money laundering; hopefully they will open an investigation into this criminal organization.

My recommendation is that you seek out alternatives to Skrill, should you wish to convert currencies into Bitcoin. Use Skrill at your own risk!

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