Fraud Recovery Fraud – Beware the Double Sting!
KwikChex sees an increase in reports from consumers concerned about being caught out by cold-calling rogues offering to get their monies back after losing monies in initial scams.
An increasing number of consumers are approaching KwikChex with stories of being contacted by people saying they can get monies back for them that were lost to fraud. In most cases, when KwikChex has investigated, it is apparent that these are attempts at a ‘double-sting’. The callers / those sending emails and texts have knowledge of the first fraud that took place. They will often say that they have the information from an ‘official registry’ or even that a court case has taken place already. The truth is that very often these people are connected to the original crimes, having either worked for the perpetrators or bought the data from them.
Discount Holiday Clubs / ‘Concierge’ schemes and Forex / Cryptocurrency / investment scams most prevalent
Of those consumers contacting KwikChex, the most common types of this type of double-scam are connected to bogus holiday discount memberships, Forex and cryptocurrency trading and ‘alternative investment’ schemes. The consumers are told for example that:
- A court case has taken place and monies / assets seized and all the consumer has to do to get their money back is to pay an ‘administration fee’ to receive their compensation for the monies they lost.
- A ‘class action’ is taking place against the criminals and the consumers can sign up by paying a legal fee to join.
- That the caller is a specialist with a great track record in fraud recovery and has an exceptional record in reclaiming monies from fraudsters.
The stories are often convincing, with the use of fake documents and accreditations – including some that pose as lawyers. KwikChex has seen many examples and regrettably, some of the consumers have already paid considerable sums of money to this second wave of fraudsters. Consumers are often directed to professional looking websites and glowing online reviews – all of which are fake.
Recovering monies from EZE Group – the ‘Leisure Credits’ scam
EZE Group, a Birmingham, UK based business that also operated extensively in Spain. The UK authorities successfully prosecuted the business and the two most prominent people controlling the scam holiday discount operation – which often also targeted existing timeshare owners. Prison sentences have now been handed down and UK Trading Standards have had court orders made against the assets of these people. But there were many others involved in the scam that escaped prosecution and so the risk of them using stolen data to contact and defraud affected consumers again is high, and we are currently seeing many specific examples connected to this.
Binary Options and Forex examples – too many to list
The most prolific sector for Fraud Recovery Fraud is ‘wealth creation’ – and in particular trading in Forex and Cryptocurrencies. KwikChex has numerous examples of consumers losing their monies to rogue trader businesses and then being conned by so-called recovery specialists. Often there are dozens of connected businesses involved and the use of similar names and impersonating genuine businesses, is all designed to confuse consumers that have already suffered crippling losses. Because such trading is very much an internet-driven environment, these second-stage scammers invest heavily in publicising themselves online too – often abusing advice and trading community sites and again prolifically using fake reviews.
Utmost caution and help
If you have been scammed and are either approached with an offer of recovery assistance or see such services online, you should be extremely cautious – no matter how good the story appears to be and how many fantastic reviews they seem to have. In some cases, there will be a chance of recovery – say if consumers paid with a UK credit card (you can make a free claim without having to pay fees if this applies to you), or at other times when a prosecution has taken place and there are genuine actions by the authorities to seize assets and award compensation.
KwikChex knows just how convincing fraudsters can be – but consumers can always check with KwikChex and receive free advice from our officially accredited and award winning resources, so please do use these to help avoid being badly caught out twice – after all, there is an old saying – “catch me once, shame on you, Catch me twice, shame on me”
Avoid the scams in the first place
If you are considering investing in wealth creation schemes or are tempted by ‘discount clubs’ – or are even shopping online and see exceptional bargains, the rule is to check and double-check and check again – and KwikChex is always available to provide its well-proven expertise free of charge.
KwikChex free assistance for consumers – click here.