Scam Victims | Sucker ListReloading is also called double scamming and is a form of fraud in which con artists target victims who are susceptible to pressure in order to defraud them repeatedly. Frequently this occurs because victims, having been duped once, hope to regain their losses in subsequent deals. This is not a new crime and, in fact, has been around since at least 1923 when it was used in stock frauds.
The term reloading has expanded to include other types of scams, especially in telemarketing fraud which, once a pliable victim has been found when they are then added to a "sucker list." This is because they believe that if tricked once a person will be more likely to be tricked again. Several methods are used to repeatedly victimize consumers.
Although initially a person may be contacted through a fraudulent telemarketing scheme, they may subsequently be called by a partner claiming to be from a private company or governmental agency admitting a fraud occurred and that the money would be recovered for a price. It's important to remember that reloading involves several partners within the same fraud scheme supporting the subsequent crimes. In effect, the original victim is victimized again and again. This was how the term "double scam" came about.
Even though local government agencies and consumer organizations will help when individuals have lost money in a scam, they do not ask for a fee in advance in order to recover lost funds. Any prepayment method is a good indication that a con artist is on the line. Another indication is that payment is often wanted as soon as possible. Although they prefer wire transfers or debit cards, many will take credit cards or even cashier's checks that are delivered by courier service. For those awaiting the delivery of a grand prize, once a product is received victims often find that it is an inferior that was paid for ten times over.
Originally this type of scam was associated with the stock market. When money was lost on a stock deal or through a stock fraud, many felt that all they would have to do is make it good on one deal in order to recover what they lost. However, frequently they are led toward buying shares which have no way of ever paying off. This has lead to new scams involving the purchase of merchandise. Designed similarly as the stock scheme, for those who buy a second call explains that a more valuable prize is only a few dollars more. If they are duped a second time, they may be called again and again in order to win the "grand prize."
There are many variations to this type of scam such as Poop and Scoop is where those who have lost money in the stock market are contacted with a "tip" reserved for VIP clients. In Bank Examiner, after a scam has found a victim a con artist explains that through access to the victim's bank account the transaction can be traced. The account is soon emptied. In Victim Support, a con artist contacts a victim explaining they had also been victimized. They pool their money to hire a lawyer only there is no lawyer and they are never heard from again, at least not this one. Today the most popular is the Nigerian Letter Scam either saying they will help recover money lost through fraud or requesting that an account be opened so that large amounts of money in Africa can be transferred into US dollars for compensation, of course.
The Federal Trade Commission has the task of tracking those involved in reloading schemes. They caution people to be wary of anyone offering to help get lost funds back if fees are charged for the service. However, to ensure that you don't become a victim in the first place it's always a good idea to check out organizations thoroughly and remember that you never get something for nothing.