Being scammed once is bad enough, but being scammed a second time by someone who convinces you that he or she is going to help you recover money you lost in the first scam is outrageous. Unfortunately, it is happening more and more as scammers sell, what are referred to as “sucker lists” of people whom they have scammed, to other scammers.  The criminal buying the list then contacts the victim of the earlier scam purporting to be from a company or agency that can help recover the funds lost to the first scam.  They always require an upfront payment, which is a good early indicator that this is a scam.  Sometimes they do absolutely nothing, but victimize the scam victim a second time, but other times they will actually file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or some other consumer protection agency.  However, filing a complaint with these agencies is something that the victim can do at no cost for himself or herself.

TIPS

Never pay an upfront fee to someone offering to help you recover money lost to a scam and never give personal information to someone who calls you offering to perform these services for you for an upfront fee.  It costs nothing to file a complaint with the police, the FTC, the CFPB or any other consumer protection agency.  In rare instances, you may wish to retain a lawyer to help you recover funds lost to a scammer, but attorneys generally take these cases on a contingency basis, which means that you do not have to pay them anything upfront.  They get paid out of whatever is recovered from the scammer.  Finally, most people who are on sucker lists are contacted by telephone.  If you have been a victim of a scam, you may wish to consider changing your telephone number to avoid the inevitable call from another scammer.