Being scammed online makes you the victim of a serious crime. Feelings of extreme anger, humiliation, and violation are what all victims of online scams feel after being defrauded. The scammers use highly sophisticated methods to manipulate and pressure their victims to pay for get-rich-quick schemes.
- Imposter Scams, including Social Security imposters, IRS scams (tax scams), and other Government Imposter Scams.
- Charity Scams and Affinity Fraud.
- Romance Scams.
- Investment Scams, including Ponzi Schemes, Shares Scams, and Options Scams, etc.
After being scammed the victim sets about to try and recover their funds initially by lodging complaints with local and/or federal law enforcement agencies. The process of launching criminal complaints, as part of the fund recovery process, is essential in helping police keep track of scam websites It does not however assist the victim in actually recovering the funds they lost in the scam. Over the past few years, several ‘Scam Recovery’ companies have appeared online which promise their clientele full recovery of the money they lost.
Is a Scam Recovery Company Legitimate?
While some scam recovery companies are legitimate, most of them either offer poor service and/or are scams themselves. Benson Mandela is the AML and Anti-Fraud Director of the Dutch company, Transparent Business Solutions B.V., which owns and operates scamhelp.net. Mr. Benson advises scam victims “To identify a ‘real’ scam recovery company from a ‘fake’ one by asking the sales rep the legal name, address and company registration of the company. Most importantly the victim must also ask the caller the name of the company’s legal firm and the CPA-Auditing firm which represents it.” This advice is logical. While most scam victims do indeed need outside private help in recovering their funds, it is important to verify that the scam recovery company not only has a legally registered name and address, but also bona fide lawyers and accountants who can verify the credibility of the company.
Most companies that say they can recover funds defrauded from a victim also claim that they have ‘financial forensic experts’ and other qualified investigative specialists who can assist their clients. Mr. Benson noted that “Companies claiming to have financial crime investigators and lawyers who can represent their clients on a case by case basis should be able to tell them who these people are”. He further observed that “Scam Help has our key financial investigators, In-House Legal Counsel, and even our accounting firm listed openly and proudly on our website.”
The best advice to any victim of online fraud is to make sure that it does not happen again. For this reason, it is imperative that anyone seeking the services of a fund recovery firm, know the rights, double-check the company’s legal registration and verify its reputation through a certified attorney and/or accounting firm. Failure to do so may result in the victim being scammed again for a second time and that would just be adding insult to injury.