How the scam works
The fraudster phones their victim and tells them that they are phoning from the “Action Fraud Litigation Services team”. They say that they are legal prosecutors who will be able to help the victim recover the money that they have lost in a previous fraud.
They tell the victim that in order to recover the money that they have lost, the legal prosecutors will need to represent them and that there will be an advance fee which they will need to pay immediately. They normally say that this fee will be £239, but the price can vary.
Once the victim has made their payment, normally over the phone, they are not longer able to make contact, even when they try and call back the number which they received the call on.
Please be aware that Action Fraud would never ask victims to part with money over the phone or via email and "Action Fraud Litigation Services" is not a legitimate organisation.
- Beware of any unsolicited communication you receive about being a victim of fraud from people you don’t know, or companies you’ve never contacted.
- Genuine law enforcement and other agencies don’t charge fees when returning money to crime victims. Any request for fees indicates a fraud- particularly when asked to pay upfront.
- Criminals committing fraud recovery frauds often use the names of genuine organisations. Check any contact details the fraudsters give you against the real company’s details. If you find that they details don’t match, it’s likely that you’re dealing with fraudsters.
- Beware that some fraudsters spoof their phone numbers, websites and email addresses to make them look like they are making contact from a real organisation.
- Genuine government or law enforcement agencies don’t normally use webmail addresses such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. So beware if you’re asked to contact one of these email addresses.
- If the service sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.
You can now also sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.