By Rotimi Onadipe
Funds recovery scam is a type of scam whereby a scammer claims to help a victim to recover funds lost to fraudsters. The scammer’s target audience are victims that have been previously scammed. This type of scam is common among victims of Forex scam, binary options scam, investment scam and romance scam.
How it works:
The scammers pretend as funds recovery specialists or their representatives. Alternatively, they disguise as lawyers that are working in the legal department of funds recovery companies and they work in collaboration with those who defrauded the victims previously so as to obtain some of the victims’ personal information and previous correspondence with the scammers. They will contact the victims through emails, phone calls, text messages, courier or postal services. They usually contact a large number of victims so as to increase their chance of getting more victims that will fall prey to their scams.
The main focus of funds recovery scammers is to collect certain amount for consultancy, legal services, processing of documents or cost of transfer of the total amount to be recovered. Once the money is paid, some of them will refer the victim to another scammer while others will block the phone number of the victim. They also use the strategy to obtain personal or sensitive information of the victims and sell it to other criminals on the dark web.
Why are so many people falling victim to funds recovery scam?
Millions of people around the world are falling victim to various types of scams because they are searching for any available business opportunity that will help them to earn more money and live a better life. In an attempt to achieve this, they fall victim to different types of online or offline fraud e.g. investment fraud, Forex trading scam, binary options scam, romance scam, credit and debit card scam, inheritance scam etc.
Scam victims around the world have lost a lot of money to fraudsters. They are frustrated and desperate to get their lost funds recovered at all costs so that they can start a new life. The scammers are aware of this and they want to take advantage of the situation.
Fraud prevention starts with all of us. Our vigilance and awareness of the tricks used by fraudsters will always protect us from falling victim to any type of fraud. However, to avoid falling victim to funds recovery scam, we must be suspicious of any individual or organisation that asks a victim of scam to pay any fee in order to recover his lost fund.
How to spot a funds recovery scam:
- The victim receives a lot of unsolicited calls, emails, text messages or parcels from individuals or organisations that claim to be funds recovery specialists.
- The scammer requests for urgent action to be taken by the victim before a particular expiration date.
- Check the content of the email or text if it has any grammatical error e.g. spelling, punctuation or any incorrect sentence
- The scammer tells the victim not to share his/her experience with anyone.
- If the content of the email, text or letter sent sounds too good to be true, be suspicious.
- The scammer asks for certain amount for registration, ID card, processing of documents, legal services or cost of transfer of the lost funds.
- If the scammer discovers that the victim refuses to pay any amount, he/she will persuade the victim to pay a very little amount so as to make sure there is a commitment on the part of the victim.
How to avoid funds recovery scam:
- Do a thorough investigation before you contact any organisation that claims to be a funds recovery company e.g. authenticity of their registration, year of registration, website, referees, testimonials and success stories of the company.
- If any individual or organisation contacts you as funds recovery companies or their representatives, be suspicious because most funds recovery companies don’t contact scam victims.
- Don’t believe everything you hear about any funds recovery company. Always seek advice from professionals or independent investigators.
- If you are contacted via email, text message or phone call about your past experience with scammers, don’t share your personal or sensitive information with whoever contacts you e.g. banking details, credit or debit card information, date of birth etc.
- If you are a victim of scam, you must be informed that the same group of scammers that defrauded you previously will always contact you to defraud you again with a different name, email address or phone number.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited calls, letters, text messages or emails from any individual or company that claims to be funds recovery specialists.
- Don’t pay any upfront fee to anyone to recover the funds you lost to scammers.
- If you are a victim of funds recovery scam, don’t be desperate to recover your lost funds.
- If you are suspicious of any unsolicited call, text message or email to be from funds recovery scammers, report immediately to the the appropriate authority for necessary action e.g. police or anti-cyber crime organisations.
- Educate yourself about how to avoid online scams.
Rotimi Onadipe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org