Repeat Scam Victims of the Recovery ScamThere are many scams on the market today, but one of the new ones, which is in direct response to individuals attempting to recover lost money, is one known as the "recovery room." What's most amazing is that those running these schemes aren't just typical con artists. In fact, an individual who was recently prosecuted for perpetrating this crime was an officer in a governmental organization that works toward victim protection and recovery of lost funds. When asked why he stated that he was tired of the bad guys always getting away with it.
Frequently these scams are associated with what are called "double scamming." This is where someone who has already been duped is sought out and told their money can be recovered if they are willing to help. Since many victims are over 65 and only 38% file reports with various anti-fraud agencies, they cooperate since retirement funds are often limited. But what one sees and hears is not always the case.
Anytime an individual falls for a scam they're put on what's called the "sucker list." This can include prize promotions, charity drives, magazine subscriptions, merchandise sales, or many other cons. These lists are swapped between unscrupulous telemarketers and, when an individual will no longer fall for the scams offered, will move onto a recovery room list. Con artists who specialize in this field utilize the victim mentality of those who have been duped in order to gain an edge and offer services by promising the return of money or prizes that were supposed to be delivered for a small recovery fee.
Many times these cons are run by the same individuals who ran the original scam and contact individuals in a variety of forms. For example, in one case a person dressed as a police officer showed up at a nursing home requesting that the resident put forth money in order to help the authorities catch the perpetrators. Of course, there was no investigation, but because the elderly person suspected the officer she contacted the FBI and was able to help catch not only him, but those he was working with.
Anytime you're asked for money upfront and have already been the victim of a scam, it's likely that you're part of a recovery room con that can leave you much worse off than you started. In Canada, for instance, it is estimated that 37% of those who are victims of the many cons working today have been deceived before. This has become such a problem in the investment industry that the Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia Securities Commission has recently issued investor alerts and the Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission has issued a temporary Cease Trade Order.
No one is safe from recovery room scams especially those who are in more vulnerable demographic groups, such as senior citizens. The best advice is to stay abreast of the most current trends in scams and then contact authorities as soon as you figure out you have become a victim or have been targeted. However, just as the elderly resident of the nursing home, it's always a good idea to contact a trusted authority, such as the FBI, should concerns arouse suspensions. The worse that could happen is that you will confirm the contact was legitimate.