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Scam-ception: when scammers attack again

by Norton-Team

Picture the scenario: your poor nan has already been scammed once before. She received an email from a long-lost aunt in Honolulu who offered her the chance of an emotional reunion. She clicked the link or wrote back and began a chain of communication that resulted in the loss of a small fortune.

Fast-forward and she’s realised it’s a scam and she’s moved onto the next stage – trying to recover the money she’s lost. She googled it and has come across a scam asset recovery site. The website looks good. The information seems real.

She enters her details....


It happens again.....


She’s just been preyed on by a scam recovery scam, the kind of brain-melting mouthful that belongs in a Christopher Nolan epic like Inception.


Scam me once, shame on you…

While the above example might seem extreme, plenty of people fall victim to scams aiming to capitalise on an errant trusting nature – especially in the case of elderly people who may have already seen a financial loss.

In fact, the practice is even more sinister with scam artists reportedly buying and selling ‘sucker lists’ with the names of people who have already lost money to fraudulent promotions like sweepstake claims, fake prizes or investment scams.

They buy these lists and call up the victim with the promise of recovering the money they lost. And what’s the big red flag? They ask for a fee in advance. These fees can range from little to large, with some victims forking out thousands in their quest to get their money back.  


How to avoid a recovery scam

While the examples in this article are very US-centric, UK citizens who have been scammed will be glad to know that there are a number of options available to fraud victims who want to try and recover some of their stolen money.

Visit FraudAdvisor.org for detailed steps as to what to do if you’ve been the victim of a scam and would like to start the recovery process.

Of course, the best method of defence is prevention and getting educated on scams. Here are some tips to help you if you are looking into recovering your assets:

  • Don’t believe a stranger who phones you directly to offer support. In many parts of the world, this is illegal or frowned upon. The recovery process and return of assets won’t happen over the phone.

  • If someone does call to offer you asset recovery and asks for money, get in touch with Fraud Advisors as soon as possible. National, state, or non-profit organisations do not charge for helping victims of scams.

  • Don’t give out personal banking information over the phone or in an email in any communication with anyone who claims to be helping with asset recovery.

  • If the person you’re dealing with asks for money up front in any capacity, your safest bet is to presume that they are a scammer.

Being scammed once is an absolute nightmare, but being hit twice is a calculated attack on a vulnerable person. Please visit the Fraud Advisory Panel for more information on recovery scams and scams in general.

Want to know more about how to spot a fake login? Find out more in Cyber Street Smarts: Don’t Get Faked Out by Fake Logins

This entry was posted on Fri Jan 13, 2017 filed under online safety , online security and online threats

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