ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040

Fraud recovery fraud

What it is

When someone who has been a victim of fraud in the past is contacted again by fraudsters. They pretend to be a government, police or law agency that can help recover the money that was lost, but ask for a fee to get it back.

Protect yourself

Be ready for fraud recovery scams if you’ve been a victim in the past. Challenge any calls, letters or emails from people you don’t know or companies you’ve never contacted.

If you’re asked to pay, or give your bank account details, end all contact.

Ask how they found out that you had been a victim. Any report of fraud is protected by law and can’t be shared with anyone else outside of law enforcement agencies.

Spot the signs

You’re contacted by an agency that knows a lot about the money you lost, but they want a fee first. Genuine agencies never ask for fees to recover money lost to fraudsters.

They’ve contacted you with a web-based email address, such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. Genuine government or law enforcement agencies and law firms don’t use webmail.

They’ve made their email look genuine by including graphics and using official-sounding language.

How it happens

If you’ve been a victim of fraud in the past, whoever took your money may keep your contact information and contact you again.

This time, they’ll pose as an organisation that has been made aware of your loss. They’ll claim they can arrest the fraudster, or even recover the money you lost. In either case, they say you’ll need to pay a fee first. This is a form of advance fee fraud; you’ll never get any money back.

If you pay, they’ll keep coming back to you with another cost 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, they might tell you that your money is under the control of a court and can only be paid back to you by them.

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

How to report it

Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040. If you’ve given the fraudsters your bank account details, alert your bank immediately.