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State warns of 'recovery scam' victimizing Hoosiers twice

Victims get emails from businesses offering help
Posted at 9:31 AM, Apr 15, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana Attorney General’s office has a warning out about a growing scam that can victimize you for the second time.

In a “recovery scam,” typically you receive an email from a business saying you’ve been a victim of a scam.

The business then offers to help you go after the scammer and get your money back.

However, the Indiana Attorney General’s office says recovery scammers target people ask victims to pay upfront fees to recover the funds.

They may also claim to be lawyers, government officials, or consumer advocates to gain the consumer’s trust.

“It's becoming more prevalent because I think there are more people out there reporting they've been scammed," said Betsy DeNardi, director of consumer protection at the Indiana Attorney General’s office. “If they want you to pay more money in order to get your money back, that is a red flag for an additional scam, and you should be more cautious about giving more money to a business.”

DeNardi said the scammers likely have no idea if you’ve been scammed before or not.

"My guess is they're sending that video to lots of people, and some of the victims of the scam it actually applies to them, and so they are more likely to respond," said DeNardi.

Catching scammers and getting your money back is nearly impossible because most scams originate overseas.

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If you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact local police and file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s office.

DeNardi said you should research any company or individual who contacts you by running the name through a search engine, as well as “reviews” and “scam.”

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Recovery Scams

• Don’t trust calls, emails, or letters from someone who claims to be able to recover money lost in a scam if you pay them a fee.
• Know that government agencies do not charge for their work.
• Never provide your bank account or credit card information to pay upfront fees.