Recovery scams further victimize scam victims. Advance fee fraudsters will drain every penny they can from you, and then some, often pushing you into debt. Fortunately, victims sometimes become aware that they are involved in a scam, and stop paying. The road to recovering from a scam can be difficult, both emotionally and financially.
A seeming solution, an offer of assistance, arrives in your mail box in the form of an email from a supposed official agency, offering to help not only catch the scammer, but recoup the financial losses.
Beware – these are NOT legitimate offers! This is a recovery scam, a loathsome scam re-targeting those who have already been victimized. The same scammer who already drained you is using a new name and email address to impersonate a legitimate agency, often law enforcement or the FBI. These supposed recovery efforts quickly turn to yet another request for payment.
How can you recognize these scams?
Promise of specific action – Is there a promise to catch the scammer or recoup money? Legitimate agencies, even if they are willing to investigate or take your report, never promise any specific outcome.
Important Fact – Most scam victims never get their money back.
The email came out of the blue – Did you report the crime? If you did not, the email is definitely a scam, and from the same scammer. If so – look at the contact information.
Contact information – Is the reply-to address different than the address the email was supposedly sent from? Is it a free webmail like Yahoo, gmail or hotmail? Real agencies do not use those email providers, nor do they ask you to contact them on mobile phone numbers. When in doubt if the email is actually from the agency you reported to, re-contact them through the avenue you originally reported to and ask for verification.
Fee requests – Is the supposed agency asking for fees? Law enforcement and other government agencies do not charge fees.
Scammers hate to lose a paying victim and will use recovery scams, or other scams, to target them again. Be aware, and don’t be a victim twice!