Fraud recovery fraud

What does fraud recovery fraud offer?

Someone tells you they can recover the money you have already lost in a fraud.

How does fraud recovery fraud work?

The person contacts you, usually by phone or email, and tells you they are a lawyer, a law enforcement officer or someone working for a government agency in another country.

They tell you that they know you have already lost money to a fraud and they can recover your money for you. Alternatively, they might claim that the fraudsters who initially conned you have been apprehended, the money they took has been seized and it is due to be returned to their victims.

The person who contacts you is not whom they claim to be, nor will they help you recover the money you have already lost.

If you respond to their offer of help, they will ask you for various fees. For example: release fees, administration fees etc. If you pay these fees, they will keep coming back to you with another fee that has to be paid before your money can be returned.

If you ask them to take the fees from the money they claim to have recovered, they will give reasons why this isn’t possible. For example: your money is under the control of a court and can only be paid back to you personally.

The fraudsters may also ask you to provide details of your bank account so that they can pay your money into it. They will use this information to empty your account.

How do I recognise fraud recovery fraud?

  • Genuine law enforcement and other agencies do not charge fees when returning money to crime victims. Any request for fees indicates a fraud - particularly when you are asked to pay up front
  • Criminals committing fraud recovery frauds often use the names of genuine law firms and agencies. Check any contact details the fraudsters give you against the real company’s details. You can check against entries in the telephone directory or Yellow Pages; the organisation’s web site - bearing in mind that criminals can copy a genuine website; or regulatory agencies for lawyers. If the details don’t match, it is likely that you are dealing with fraudsters
  • Genuine government or law enforcement agencies and law firms do not normally use webmail addresses such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. Beware if you are asked to contact one of these email addresses
  • Foreign law enforcement agencies and other official organisations normally ask UK authorities to help in returning money to fraud victims. If someone claiming to work for an official overseas agency contacts you directly, this is a good indicator of fraud.

What you should do

  • Break off all contact with the fraudsters
  • Do not send any more money
  • If you have given the fraudsters your bank account details, alert your bank immediately.

Reporting fraud

If you're a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.

If it is a non-emergency situation,

Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

You can also report fraud or find further advice and information on the Action Fraud website.