The Federal Trade Commission cautions consumers to be careful of refund and recovery scams. These scams are designed to target those who have already been the victims of scams by others.
According to the agency, scam artists may buy so-called “sucker lists,” which contain contact information on those who have been defrauded in the past. The idea is that people who have been deceived once have a high likelihood of being scammed again.
The scam artists then contact those on the list and, as the FTC states, falsely promise for an advance fee or a donation to a specific charity to get the victim’s lost money back.
The pitches can vary in kind. For example, the agency notes they may include claims that the caller is a representative of the government or a victim reimbursement fund seeking to help the person called, or that the caller will file a complaint on behalf of the victim with the government to recover the victim’s lost money.
The FTC warns government and other agencies seeking to help victims do not demand upfront the payment of a fee, guarantee to get your money back or offer special preference to anyone who files a formal complaint.
To read the full FTC publication, go to www.ftc.gov (type “Refund and Recovery Scams” in the search box).