Many people who have been scammed do not even know that they have been a part of a scam; they may have entered a bogus competition, paid to a phony charity drive, or invested in a fraudulent business opportunity. If you have done any of these things, there is a chance that your name and contact information is on a list which is shared amongst fraudsters. These are called “sucker” lists and they may contain your phone number, address, email address, and even information like how much money you put into phony offers. Dishonest promoters make money selling these lists on the theory that the people who have been deceived once are likely to be fooled again.
How do you get scammed a second time?
The irony of the story is that many people who are scammed once, will be scammed again, often by companies that claim they are helping to retrieve money or goods you lost in a previous scam. The plot thickens… These kinds of scam come in various forms and include cancellation scams, refund scams, class action lawsuits and retrieval scams.
How to protect yourself against scams?
Never fear, however, because we have some tips to help you avoid losing money to scammers who take advantage of you having been involved in a previous scam. Follow the steps below and make sure you are never scammed again.
1. If someone claims to represent a government agency working on your behalf to solve a previous scam you have been involved in but asks for payment in relation to an investigation, you can be sure that they are scamming you. Government agencies will not ask you for money. If you are required to wire money to them, there is no doubt it is a scam.
2. Don’t believe anyone who calls offering to recover prizes, money, or merchandize you have not received if they want you to pay a fee in advance. If they claim to represent a government agency as well you should immediately report them to the authorities.
3. Before you use any company to recover either money or prizes ask what specific services they offer, and the cost of each. You should then check them out using the Better Business Bureau and other websites that protect consumers.
4. Never give out your credit card or banking details in an attempt to recover money or items that you have never received.
5. Never wire money before you are satisfied with the service or merchandise promised.
The people who operate these scams are experts at it; they’ve been doing it for many years in some cases and have it down to an art. Forewarned is, as they say, forearmed so take these hints to heart and protect yourself from recovery scams.